Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Glasgow, past and present, illustrated in Dean of Guild Court reports and in the reminiscences and communications of Senex, Aliquis, J.B., etc"

See other formats

Columbia (HnitJerssttp 











P7'2ntedhy R. & R. Clark, Kciinhursh. 

(^la$g:otD archaeological ^ocietp 






It was altogether a chance circumstance which suggested to me 
the idea of noting down the following loose and desultory jottings 
regarding Glasgow and its Environs, and particularly respecting 
the Low Green and its neighbourhood. I possessed little informa- 
tion on the subject of the early history of this our first public 
park, except what had been taken notice of by our different 
Glasgow historians ; but being in the ninety-second year of my 
age, and remembering the state of the locality in question, 
shortly after the date when the Plan annexed to this pamphlet 
was drawn up, and seeing that no part of our city has undergone 
greater changes than this portion of it, I have thought that a few 
notices regarding the said locality may perhaps be acceptable to 
many of our citizens, especially to those who take delight in 
lingering over stories of olden time. 

I eschew all claim to any original information of importance 
as to the early history of this district of our city, and now come 
forward merely as a gleaner from the works of others, interspersed 
with a few of my own memoranda, loosely thrown together. 

As I have before stated, it was an accidental circumstance 
which turned my attention towards writing a few notanda re- 
garding the Low Green of Glasgow, viz., the following letter, 
addressed to mc as " Senex," from a stranger : — 

viii PREFACE. 

" To Senex. — Sir, — Many friends here and elsewhere would be highly 
gratified were you to be good enough to write any reminiscences of St. Andrew's 
Episcopal Chapel here. It is now the oldest of the Episcopal communion in 
Scotland, and for many years was the sole chapel in the West, and was fre- 
quented by the Dukes of Hamilton, the Lords of Douglas, the Cathcart family, 
the Pollocs, and the Mite of Glasgow and vicinity. You might have materials 
for a few articles, which would take well. — Yours truly, A. B." 

To this request I answered as follows : — 

" To A. B. — Sir, — Although it is not in my power to give a satisfactory 
account of the early history of the first Glasgow Episcopal Chapel, neverthe- 
less, as I possess a plan of the grounds on which the said Chapel and St. 
Andrew's Church were erected during the course of last century, I think it 
may be interesting to many of our citizens to look back to the days when the 
lands in question were lying waste, and open to the public, as if they had 
been a mere common in connection with the Old Green of Glasgow. 

" Perhaps no part of Glasgow has undergone so great a change within the 
memory of our octogenarian citizens as the Old Green and its environs, in 
consequence of the Camlachie and Molendinar Burns having been arched over, 
and formed into a tunnel ; from the opening up of the south part of the Gallow- 
gate, by the formation of London Street and St. Andrew's Square ; by the 
erection of the splendid mansions of Charlotte Street upon the ancient lands 
of Merkdailly ; and, in short, by the whole of the Saltmarket and the lands 
in the vicinity of the Green having been pulled down and rebuilt, so that the 
entire space in question has put on quite a new face, and would scarcely be 
recognised by our forefathers had they returned to us on furlough. — Yours 
truly, Senex." 

Such, then, was the origin of the following sheets. 



The Old Green of Glasgow — Charter to Bishop Turnbull in 1450 — King's Isles — The 
Bishop's Forest — Weaponschawings, and penalties for non-attendance — Petition of 
Hugh Tennent to the Court of Session — Bridget on in 1725 — Walkinshaw of 
Barrowfield — Orr of Barrowfield — Advertisements of sale of Barrowfield 

Pages I -14 


The Andersons of Stobcross — The Bells of Cowcaddens, and Bell's Park — Incorporation 
of Tailors — BaiHe Ronald, Breeches Maker to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, and 
Provost M'Dowall — Feu-duties in Anderston and Finnieston — Lady Barrowfield — 
Story of the marriage of John Orr of Barrowfield — Anecdote — The Green eighty 
years ago — Craig's Park — The Golf Fields lands in 1758 — Provost Mackenzie — 
Sketch of Alexander, Richard, and James Oswald — Extracts from The Glasgow 
Merairy ........ 15-41 


Kelvinbank in 1781, and Kelvingrove in 1790 — Coal Quay at Windmillcroft — First 
railway in Glasgow — The Windmill in 1780, and salmon fishing — Deepening 
and embanking the Clyde in 1780 — Patrick Reid, possessor by "wadset" of 
Washington Street — Henry Monteith's attempted purchase of Washington Street 
for Clyde Trust in 1814 — Washington Street, whence named . 42-53 


Cleland's sketch of the Green — Improvements in the Green, 1638-1664 — Fleshers' 
Haugh in 1792 — The Green as it stood in 18 16 — Coal under the Green, and 
proposal to work it in 1858 — Discussion in the City Council — Proposed improve- 
ments in 1813 — Subsidence of the Green in 1754 — The Point Isle in 1760— Dowcot 
Green Island — The Horse Ford — Battle of the Bell o' the Brae . 54-71 



Regent Murray's approach to Glasgow and Hamilton, after Langside, 1568, by the 
Horse Ford — Erection of the stone dyke across the Clyde — Rutherglen Quay and 
traffic — Stoppage of the fords by Act of Parliament, 1768 — Golborne and Clyde 
deepening in 1773 — The Broomielaw in 1760— The old Bottlework — The Bottle- 
work Company — Gorbals Church — Hutchesontown in 1794 . Pages 72-87 


Residenters in the Briggate — Bailie Craig's house" in 1736 — The old Custom-House — 
The Water Port— The Plague in 1574 — The Old Bridge and a walk over it in 
1778 — Attempt by the Magistrates to shut it up — Provost George Murdoch 



Water Port Dyke and extension of the Bridge— Ben Barton's house — The first printer 
in Glasgow, temp. 1638 — Removal of spikes for exhibition of heads of traitors — 
General Assembly in Glasgow in 1638 — The Crawfurds — The mansion of the 
Campbells of Blythswood — Dillon's lawsuit with John Campbell of Blythswood — 
James Campbell and his creditors—James Rankin, tobacconist — Speculation in 
tobacco in 1776 — Curious story of James Maxwell, Esq.— Flood in Briggate in 
1782 — Laughable stoiy of David Dale's dinner-party in 1795 • 103-126 


Fleming's saw -mill on the Molendinar — Its demolition by the Magistrates in 1764 — 
Fleming's lawsuit against the Magistrates — Depositions of witnesses, containing 
many interesting notices — First introduction of Scots Crown Fir — Sawmillfield 
— Commencement of Forth and Clyde Canal . . . 127-142 


Port-Dundas as a harbour versus the Broomielaw — Cow-milking on the Green — Rates 
for grazing — Dell in the Green — The Washing-House, and Scotch mode of cleans- 
ing clothes — Castle Boins — The Big Tree — The Green the scene of military 
punishment — A soldier shot, 1750 — Dispute between the Magistrates and the 
Officers of Colonel Herbert's regiment .... 143- 161 



Four orphans in 1741 — M'Call's Black House — Prince Charlie in Glasgow in 1745 — 
His appearance described — Review of his host — The Glasgow Royal Volunteers in 
1778 — Mutiny at Leith — Collision between Magistrates and J.P.'s — Recruiting as 
practised in 1778 — Population and Mortality Bill of Glasgow in 1777 

Pages 162-175 


Injury to the trade of Glasgow by the American War — Sale of Merkdailly Lands — 
Opening of Charlotte Street — St. James's Square — Barrowfield — Bowling Green 
and the Archers' Butts — Struther's Brewery — First brewing of porter in Glasgow 
— Lawsuit in regard to it — List of brewers summoned before the Justices in 1777 
— Printfield at Fleshers' Haugh — Favourite bathing-place — First person baptized 
by immersion in Clyde ...... 176-190 


Opening up of Duke Street — Glasgow Police in 1788, and measures of the Magistrates 
for regulation of the city— Improvements in the city — St. Andrew's Church — Eagles- 
holm Croft — Dispute about electing a seventh minister for Glasgow — Dr. Porteous 
— The "Long Stairs" — The "hanging stair" in the Tontine — Weavers' riots — 
Town herds ....... 191-205 


Humane Society House founded in 1790 — Nelson's Monument — The great storm of 
1 8 10 — Ams Well — The Slaughter-House and regulations thereanent — Markets in 
1 744 —Queen Mary in Glasgow with Darnley — Lamplighting in 1 792 — The Glasgow 
Streets in 1560 — Saracen's Head Inn — Causewaying in Glasgow in 1578 



Costume of the Lord Provost and Magistrates of Glasgow — Convener Newbigging — 
Salary of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh — Scotch Episcopalians — History of and 
interesting particulars regarding St. Andrew's Church — Anti-Burgher intolerance — 
Episcopal liberality — Union of Scotch and English Episcopalians — Articles of Union 
and Act of Consecration ...... 219-233 



Lunardi's balloon ascent, 1785 — The "kist o' whistles" — Choral Union in Glasgow, 
1756 — Concert in 1789 — The Devil's Kirk — Willow Acre — Various ministers of 
St. Andrew's Church ..... Pages 234-247 


General Wolfe in Glasgow in 1753 — Wade's sketch of the Episcopal Chapel — Bishop 
Home's opinion of the Scotch Episcopalians — Roman Catholic Meeting- House 
eighty years ago — Burgess Oath — Popery riot in Glasgow in 1779-80 — Address to 
Lord George Gordon — Statute Labour Assessment in 1765 — Sundry regulations 
by Town Council — Bailie Bogle's villa, 1712 — Conclusion . . 248-261 



Preface ......... 265 

The Water Bailie Court of Glasgow in olden time .... 267 

Municipal elections . . . . . . . .271 

Loose jottings regarding Glasgow about the year 1775 . . . .281 

Glasgow in the olden time ....... 285 

Much Ado about Nothing : a Glasgow story of olden time . . . 296 

Collectors of Customs in olden time ...... 304 

Friends of the People ........ 307 

The oldest house in the Trongate of Glasgow . . . . • 3ii 

The Glasgow shows of olden time . . . . . • 3 1 3 

Cotton. ......... 369 

A French prophecy regarding America . . . . . -378 

The late Mrs. Douglas of Orbiston ...... 380 

The Deanside Well and the convents of the Friar Preachers . . . 382 

Answer to an " Old Burgess " . . . . . . . 385 

My first decade ........ 386 

The Lands of Gorbals ........ 396 

The grandfather of Charles Wilsone Broun, Esq. .... 399 

The loth of October, and the Glasgow Grammar School of olden time . . 403 

The Glasgow Grammar School a hundred years ago .... 422 

Origin of the Royal Bank of Scotland . . . . . -425 

St. Enoch's Church of old . . . . . . » . 428 

St. Enoch's Gate and St. Enoch's Church ..... 428 

First American Ambassador to London ...... 429 

First trader between Glasgow and Belfast, and first vessel that passed through 

the Great Canal from sea to sea ; also first Spanish prize . . . 430 


Progress of locomotion .... 

Old Glasgow celebrities 

Hirsling Kate ..... 

Depreciation of American paper money , 

Candleriggs Street in 1760 

Statistics of the gallows in Glasgow 

Compulsory signature of a Lord Provost 

Concerning the Honourable Adam Ferrie 

Hogmanay, or New- Year's Eve 

Thom of Govan .... 

St. Enoch's Church of old 

Additional Notes — 

The Trongate (about 1835) 

" The Gentle Lochiel " . 

Memoir of Captain Archibald Paton 

The Tods of Haghill 

The Glasgow Grammar School of olden time 

Alexander Macalpine 

MS. Note in a copy of Brown's " Glasgow " 

Autobiography of Robert Reid . 
Memoir of James Pagan 
Memoir of Dr. Mathie Hamilton 
Memoir of John Buchanan, LL.D. 

Index .... 











Portrait of "Senex" 
Plan of the Low Green in 1760 . 
Clue Map .... 
Clue Map of Candleriggs in 1760 
Portrait of Captain Paton 
Richardson's Map 







If li 




The Old Green of Glasgow— Charter to Bishop TurnbuU in 1450— King's Isles— The 
Bishop's Forest — Weaponschawings, and penalties for non-attendance — Petition of 
Hugh Tennent to tlie Court of Session— Bridgeton in 1725 — Walkinshaw of 
Barrowfield — Orr of Barrowfield — Advertisements of Sale of Barrowfield. 

With the exception of its ancient Cathedral, no part of Glasgow 
is so highly endeared to and venerated by our citizens as their 
splendid public Green of olden time, with its beautiful margin, the 
River Clyde flowing along through the whole extent of its southern 
boundary, and its fine cirbuitous drive around its verdant lawn and 
graceful slopes. Notwithstanding its formidable rivals, the West- 
End Pleasance and Southside Park, the Green of Glasgow still 
stands conspicuous in the eyes and in the memories of all ranks, 
like an aged oak or sturdy veteran, recalling to remembrance 
many thrilling events and youthful sports which there took place 
during the primitive era of our city. There are few individuals 
who have not felt a sensation of delight arising from a retrospective 
view of the scenes and doings of the early period of their lives ; 
and where is the octogenarian citizen of St. Mungo who does not 
remember with rapture the many merry sports, stirring scenes, and 
military displays which took place on the Green of Glasgow, during 
his juvenile years, to say nothing of this having been once the 
favourite mall of the golfer, and the fashionable parade of the 
Glasgow belles of olden time. Referring back, however, to the 
Low Green of Glasgow and its environs, as the same stood a 
century ago, in the immediate neighbourhood of nauseous manu- 


factures, we must not look with too critical an eye at its then 
objectionable drawbacks, which would now be considered fatal to 
it as a place of healthful recreation and amusement; but we 
must take into account that times are changed — et nos mtttaimir 
in illis. Our grandsires were then happy, and contented to live 
in thatched houses, crowded flats, and lowly dwellings, and even 
our Virginia lords to congregate in the polluted atmosphere of the 
Briggate. But are the Crescenters, Circusers, and Royal Terracers 
of the present day more happy than those old Fiddler's Closers, 
Saltmarketers, or Briggaters ? — I doubt it very much ; for, not- 
withstanding all the cleaning measures of our Deans of Guild, 
our Police Captains, and our City Superintendents, I believe that 
there is little or no difference as to the duration of human life 
between the two periods, however great the difference may be as 
to comfort. On the other hand, be it remembered that there were 
of old no police assessments, water charges, gas levies, or poor- 
rates to grumble about, so that our grandsires could live happy 
and contented, keeping their household establishments alone on 
what is now paid in taxes by their present descendants. It is 
wonderful how easily a person can complacently support a little 
inconveniency, when his pocket is not touched ; and I verily 
believe that there are many now in our city who would prefer the 
old state of things with all its drawbacks, to the present polished 
position of city matters with its heavy assessments. 

I shall now, without more ado, proceed to jot down a few 
loose gleanings regarding the old Green of (jlasgow and its 
environs, etc.; premising, however, that I make no pretensions of 
giving a regular history of the district in question as of old, or of 
its modern state of embellishment, but only of transcribing a few 
extracts from the works of our Glasgow historians and others, 
along with some of the reminiscences of my early days, by way of 
help to a future more able Glasgow historiographer. I lay no 
claim to the disquisition and skill of an antiquary. 

Our Glasgow historians have given us no information regarding 
the state of the Low Green of Glasgow and its environs previous to 
the year 560, when St. Kentigern founded a religious establishment 
in Glasgow ; and even during the period when the see of the city 


was held by the Roman Catholic Bishops no mention has been 
made in any public record when this park became the property of 
the community. It is said, however, to have been included in the 
grant made to William Turnbull, Lord of Provan and Bishop of 
Glasgow, on the 20th of April 1450, by the following charter : — 

Charter by James II., 1450, 

"Jacobus, Dei gratia Rex Scotorum, omnibus probis hominibus totius terrae 
suae, clericis et laicis, salutem. Sciatis nos, in honorem et laudem Dei 
omnipotentis et gloriosse Virginis Mariae, ac beati Kentigemi confessoris, 
patroni Ecclesiae Glasguensis, in qua canonicus existemus, et omnium sanc- 
torum, nee non pro singulari favore, zelo, et delectione, quos erga reverendum 
in Christo patrem Willehelmum, praelatum ejustem ecclesiae, modernum 
nostrum conciliarum intime dilectum gerimus propter sua merita servitia, 
grata atque fidelia nobis longo tempore impensa, dedisse, concessisse, et hac 
prasente carta nostra, confirmasse praefato reverendo in Christo patri Willelmo 
Episcopo Glasguensi, et suis successoribus, Glasguensis ecclesiae episcopis, 
pro perpetuo, quod habeant, teneant, et possideant, perpetuis futuris tempori- 
bus, civitatem Glasguensem, Baroniam de Glasgu, et terras vulgariter vocatas 
Bichopforest, in liberam, puram, et meram Regalitatem, tenendas et habendas 
praefatas civitatem Baroniam et terras vocates Bichopforest, dicto Willelmo, 
et suis successoribus, Episcopis ecclesiae Glasguensis, de nobis successoribus 
nostris, in meram, puram liberam Regalitatem, seu regaliam in feodo et heredi- 
tate in perpetuum, cum universis commoditatibus et proficuis, dictis civitati 
et terris pertinentibus, in boscis, planis, moris, moressiis, viis, semitis, aquis, 
stagnis, rivolis, pratis, pascuis, et pasturis, molendinis, multuris, et eorum 
sequelis aucupationibus, venationibus, piscationibus, aquarum decursibus, pet- 
ariis, turbariis, carbonariis, lapicidiis, lapide et cake, fabrilibus, bracinis, 
brueriis, et genestis, cum homagiis, curiis, et earum exitibus, eschaetis, libero 
introitu et exita, bludewits, heryeld, et marchetis mulierum, cum libera foresta 
et warrenna, cum forisfacturis, justiciis, antequisque consuetudinibus, customis, 
ac cum iteneribus justitiariae, et camerariae, et earum exitibus portubus et 
passagiis, cum capella, in liberam, puram, et integram Regalitatem, seu 
regaliam, cum furca et fossa, sok, sak, thol, them, infangandtheif, outfangand- 
theif, handsoki, cum tenandiis et tenandriis, et libere tenentium servitus : nee 
non cum piscationibus, antiquis usibus, et advocationibus ecclesiarum, aliisque 
omnibus et singulis libertatibus, commoditatibus, et asiamentis, ac justis per- 
tinentiis quibuscumque, tarn non nominatis quam nominatis ad Regalitatem, 
seu regaliam, spectantibus, seu quovis modo juste spectare volentibus, in 
futurum, et adeo libere, quiete, plenarie, integre, honorifice, bene et in pace, 
in omnibus et per omnia, sicut aliqua regalitas, seu regalia cuicumque ecclesiae, 
aut personis ecclesiasticis quibuscumque, in regno nostro liberius, quietius, aut 
hononorificentius, concedetur aut donatur : reddendo annuatim inde dictus 
Willelmus, et successores sui, Glasguensis ecclesiae Episcopi, nobis haeredibus 


et successoribus nostris, unam rosam rubeam ad festum nativitatis beati 
Johannis Baptistae, apud Glasgu, nomine albae firmae, si petatur: et orationum 
suffragia devotorum tantum, pro omni alio onere, exactione, questione, de- 
manda, seu servitio sacculari, qux de dictis civitate, baronia, et terris vocatis 
Bischopforest, cum pertinentiis, per quoscumque juste exegi poterunt quomodo 
libet, seu requiri. In cujas rei testimonium, proesenti cartae nostrae magnum 
Sigillum nostrum apponi praecepimus. Testibus, Reverendo in Christo patre 
Jacobo, Episcopo Sancti Andreae, Willo dno. Creighton, nostro Cancellario, et 
consanguineo praedelecto : carissimo consanguineo nostro Willelmo, Comite 
de Douglas et de Avendale, dno. Gahvidiae : venerabile in Christo patre 
Andrea Abbote de Melros nostro confessore et thesaurio : dilectis consan- 
guineis nostris Patricio, dno. Glamis, magistro hospitii nostri : Willo : dno. 
Sommervil ; Andrea dno. Le Gray : magistris Joanni Arous, aregediocono 
Glasguensi, et Georgio de Schoriswod, Rectore de Cultre. Apud Edinburgh 
20 die mensis ApriHs Anno Domini 1450, et regni nostri 14°." 


" James, by the grace of God, King of Scots, to all our faithful subjects of 
the land, as well clergy as laity, greeting. Know ye, that we, for the honour 
and praise of Almighty God, and the glorious Virgin Mary, and the blessed 
Kentigern, confessor, patron of the Church of Glasgow, wherein we are 
esteemed a Canon, and of all the saints, and for the singular favour, zeal, and 
affection which we bear to the Reverend Father in Christ, William, ^ present 
Bishop of the said church, our well-beloved counsellor, and for his good deeds 
and faithful services done to us for time past, to have given and granted, and 
by this our charter confirmed, to the said Reverend Father in Christ, WiUiam, 
Bishop of Glasgow, and his successors. Bishops of the Church of Glasgow, to 
be for ever held, possessed, and enjoyed by them in all time coming, the city 
of Glasgow, barony of Glasgow, and lands commonly called Bishop's Forest, 
in pure and mere regality, to be holden and held, the said city, barony, and 
lands called Bishop's Forest, by the said William and his successors. Bishops 
of the church of Glasgow, of us and our successors, in free, pure, and mere 
regality, in fee and heritage for ever, with the whole commodities and 
property of the said city and lands, with their pertinents, in woods, plains, 
moors, marshes, ways, paths, waters, lakes, rivulets, meadows, pastures, 
and pasturages, mills, multures, and sequels of the same, hawkings, huntings, 
fishings, water courses, peats, tufts, coal pits, quarries, stone and lime, 
smithies, kilns, breweries, and brooms, with vassalages, courts and their 
issues, escheats, free ish and entry, bloodwits, heralds, and marchetis mulierum, 
with free forest and warren, with the fee of the forfeitures of courts and 
ancient usages, together with the customs of the chamberlain, and itinerant 
courts and their issues, ports and passages, with the chapel, into a free, pure, 
and entire regality, or royalty, with pit and gallows, sok, sak, thol, them, 

^ William Turnbull, elected bishop in 1448. He took a journey to Rome, and died 
there in 1454. (Keith's Bishops, p. 251.) 


infangandtheif, outfangandtheif, hamisukkin, with tenants and tenandries, and 
services of free tenants, together with fishings, ancient usages and advocations 
of churches, and all and singular other liberties, commodities and easements, 
and just pertinents whatsoever, as well not named as named, belonging to a 
regality or royalty, any manner of way in time coming, and that freely, 
quietly, fully, wholly, honourably, well, and in peace in all things, as any other 
regality or royalty, given or granted to any other church or ecclesiastical 
person whatsoever, in our kingdom, paying therefore, yearly, the said William 
and his successors. Bishops of the church of Glasgow, to us, our heirs and 
successors, a red rose upon the feast of the nativity of the blessed John the 
Baptist, at Glasgow, in name of blanch-farm, if asked only, and the assistance 
of their prayers, and that for all other further exaction, question, demand, or 
secular service, that can be any way exacted or demanded, for or furth of the 
said city, barony, and lands called Bishop's Forest, and pertinents. In testi- 
mony whereof, we have ordered our great seal to be appended to this our 
present charter, in presence of the Reverend Father in Christ, James, Bishop 
of St. Andrew's, William, Lord Crichton, our chancellor, and beloved cousin, 
our dear cousin William, Earl of Douglas and Avondale, Lord of Galloway, 
the venerable Father in Christ, Andrew, Abbot of Melrose, our confessor and 
treasurer, our beloved cousin, Patrick Lord Glamis, master of our household, 
William, Lord Sommervile, Andrew, Lord Gray, Messrs. John Arous, Arch- 
deacon of Glasgow, and George Schoriswood, rector of Coulter. At Edinburgh, 
the 2oth day of the month of April, in the year of our Lord 1450, and 14th 
year of our reign." 

In the copy of the chartulary in the library of the University 
of Glasgow there is a copy of the above charter, said to have been 
taken " Ex autographo in archivis ecclesiae Glasguensis apud 

in pyxide lignea sub litera huic cartae appensum 

est sigillum magnum Scotiae et cera alba integrum." 

The foregoing grant is very extensive, and appears to have 
included almost every right of value which could have arisen out 
of the lands within the bounds of the Bishop's Forest ; which 
forest extended several miles around Glasgow, but its exact 
boundaries are not known. 

It may be remarked, however, that there is no direct gift of 
the River Clyde, nor of any part of it which flowed through the lands 
of the Bishop's Forest. The word rivolis can refer only to rivulets, 
or small brooks, such as the Molendinar and Camlachie burns, 
and not to a large river like the Clyde. There is nothing said in 
the charter regarding, " Fluvii, Rivii, Amnes, or Flumina," neither 
is any mention made of islands (Insulae or Inches), of which 


there were then several in the Clyde, near Glasgow. About the 
close of the fourteenth century Robert III. granted the King's 
Isles, below Rutherglen, to Robert Hall {Origines Parochialcs, 
p. 64). The charter in question is drawn up quite in general 
terms, but it is sufficient to include the Camlachie and Molendinar 
burns, under the word rivolis, and the Green of Glasgow, under 
the words pratis, pasaiis, et pastiiris. The ancient surface of the 
parish, unless near the river, was, with very few exceptions, a 
forest of wood and bush land {Origines Parochiales, p. 11). 
And the Gorbals lands were not included as being within the 
bounds of the said parish (page i ). 

From the above circumstances it may be inferred that the 
north bank of the River Clyde then formed the south boundary 
of the Bishop's Forest. 

1632. — " In the Testament and Inventur of the guidis geir, debtis, and 
sowmes of money, pertaint to umquhile, James, Archbishop of Glasgow, there 
was owing, ' the fewaries, farmaris, tennants, occupiers, and possessiors of the 
lands and baronie of Bishopis-fforrister, xxxiij. li. vj. s. viij. d., as the few 
duties, landis, the crope and yeir of God, above written." — (Hamilton's Z««ar/(:- 
shire, p. 149.) 

The above shows very clearly that the Bishop's Forest was 
then lying in a state of nature, and consisted almost entirely of 
waste and uncultivated lands, overgrown with forest trees and 
bush wood, the rental of the whole forest, extending to many 
miles round Glasgow, being only ;^2 : 1 5 : 6\ sterling (;^3 3 :6 :?> 

The Bishop's Forest most probably embraced the whole of our 
Eastern and Western Commons, reaching from about Parkhead 
on the east, to Hamiltonhill on the west, and bounded on the 
south by the River Clyde ; this, of course, included the Green 
and the lower parts of the city of Glasgow. As the early inhabit- 
ants of our city were then congregated on the high-lands, in the 
immediate neighbourhood of the Bishop's Palace, they naturally 
resorted to the commons in their near vicinity for pasturing 
their cattle, or for their public displays and pastimes, in preference 
to descending to the more distant, low, and marshy lands of the 
Green of Glasgow. Accordingly, we find that the Green was not 


then generally used for public exhibitions, or military displays, 
such as the Weaponschawings, which were held upon the Eastern 
Common principally, at a place thereon called the Butts, near to 
the present Infantry Barracks, Gallowgate Street ; the latter name 
showing that this common was also the locality where criminals 
were executed. 

The great meetings for Weaponschawings were held quarterly, 
by Act of Parliament, and no French conscription could have 
been more strictly enforced than was our ancient call of Weapon- 
schawing, as the following Act shows : — 

"Act Third Parliament, James I., xj. of March, 1425.— //^w. It is 
ordaned in the second Parliament of our Sovereign Lord the King, that ilke 
Schireffe of the Realme soulde gar Weaponschawings be maid foure times ilke 
zeire, in als monie places as were speedefuU within his Bailliarie, bot the maner 
how Weaponschawings sulde be received was not appoynted. Herefor, Our 
Lorde the King throw the haill ordinance of his Parliament statutis, that ilke 
Gentleman hauand ten pounds woorth of land or mair, be sufficientlie har- 
nished and armed with Basret, haill legge, Harnes, sworde, speare, and 
dagger ; and gentleman hauand lesse extentes, of landes, nor na landes, salbe 
armed at their gudlie power, after the discretion of the Schireffes, bot all other 
zeamen of the realme betwixt xvj. and sextie zeir, salbe sufficientlie bowed and 
schafted with sworde and buckler, and knife. And that al the burgesses and 
indwellers within the Burrow townes of the realme, in like maner be anarmed 
and harnished and make weaponschawings within the Burrowis foure times in 
the zeir, and that be the Aldermen and Baillies, vpon the quhilk, the Chamer- 
lane and his Deputes sail know and execute the said things. And that all 
men, Seculares of the Realme, be well purvayed of the said harness and 
weapons, be the feast of Nativitie of our Lord Jesus Christ next to cum, under 
the pains follow, and : That is to say, of ilk gentilman that defaltis at the first 
weaponschawing fourtie schillinges, and at the other default fourtie schillings, 
and at the third default ten punds, and as meikle als oft times as he defaultis 
afterward. And of ilk bow-man at the first faulte ten schillinges, at the other 
default ten schillinges, and at the third fourtie schillinges. And swa furth als 
oft-times as he beis funden faultise afterward." 

Burgh Records, i ith October 1575. — "The quhilk daye Johne Wilsone, 
and James Anderson, flesche":! burgessis of Glasgw, ar fund in ye amchia' and 
unlawis for absenting yame frae ye generall wapinschawing, haldin on ye grein, 
on ye x daye of October, instant. Their being w.'.in ye toune ye said daye 
and esteptuslie, abydand, yairfra, and drame gevin yf.upon." 

It appears from another entry in the Burgh Records, dated 
2 1st March, 1578, that the fines levied for non-attendance at the 


Weaponschawings were appropriated towards causewaying the 
public streets of the city. 

"1578, Wapinschawing. — The quhilk day the prouest, baillies, and counsale, 
witht dekynis, pntUe convenit, hes appoyntet yain wapinshchawing according 
to ye statute to be on ye daye of ye Symerhill nixt, yet ye be as yae are com- 
andit ilk persown vnder ye pane of xxs., to be tane be ye discretioun of ye 
puest, baillies, and counsale, and to bestowit on ye calsaye making." 

(For an account of the battle of the "Butts "in 1543, in 
which the citizens were defeated, see Pagan's Glasgoiv, p. 16, and 
Glasgoiv Pilaged.) 

It may be here remarked that " Butts " (where our Weapon- 
schawings took place) is not a Scotch word, but is derived from 
the French ; thus, " But, Bute, Butte (Marque a quoi Ton vise)." 
" A mark at which a person aims." Jamieson says, " Our sense of 
the word may be from the French ' Butte,' an open or void space 
appropriated for archery ;" but he might have added, that when a 
man is made an object of ridicule, he is said to have been made 
a " butt " of 

The Eastern Common where our Weaponschawings took place 
appears at a more recent date to have been a large open waste, 
with roads running through it in all directions ; which com- 
mon the public seem to have used with all manner of freedom, 
and without restraint, not only by traversing it ad libittim, but 
also by digging up and carrying off stones, clay, turfs, and peats 
from it ; and for so interfering they apparently were never chal- 
lenged by the Magistrates or other public authorities. 

I have in my possession a Court of Session paper, dated loth 
February 1772, being the Petition of Hugh Tennent, the grand- 
father^ of Hugh Tennent, Esq., of Wellpark, to the Lords of 
Session, requesting power to enclose his lands, then part of the 
said Eastern Common. 

Mr. Tennent in his Petition to the Court, 
*' Humbly sheweth, 

" That to the North-east of the Town of Glasgow, there is a considerable 
extent of ground, which originally belonged to the Town, and was possessed 
pro indiviso, as a commonty by the different inhabitants of the borough. At 

^ Mr. Hugh Tennent sen. was born 1695, and died in 1776. 


the East-end of this commonty at that corner of it furthest removed from the 
town, there is a stone quarry, called the Sheep -quarry, belonging to the 
borough. A number of years ago, the Magistrates and Town Council of 
Glasgow, considering that this ground, so long as it remained a commonty, or 
undivided waste, was of little advantage to the borough, resolved to divide and 
parcel it out among individuals, who might cultivate and enclose it, and who 
would be willing to pay a price for the same. The Magistrates, did, therefore, 
first grant leases to persons willing to take tacks of certain parts of the com- 
monty ; and afterwards they granted feus thereof to different persons, who 
agreed to become purchasers, with this reservation only, that the Town should 
still have right to the stone and coal within the ground, and the necessary 
roads to and from the same. The Petitioner purchased the lands of Easter 
Commonty, being part of the foresaid commonty, from the Magistrates of 
Glasgow ; the same having been exposed to public roup, in the year 1755, and 
he obtained a feu contract from them in the year 1763. The quarry above- 
mentioned, the right to which the Magistrates had reserved, and to a road to 
and from the town thereto, lies at the east-end of the Petitioner's property, and 
at the time of the purchase, the road from the town to the quarry went through 
the middle of his property. Nay, it appears from the proof which has been 
led in this process, that persons going to and from the quarry did not observe 
one uniform road, but sometimes followed one track, sometimes another, 
across the ground, now the Petitioner's property, as humour or inclination 
directed. The Petitioner's property was much lessened in value by these 
roads running through the middle of it ; they not only encroached upon a 
great part of his ground, but put it out of his power to enclose it." 

Proof in this case having been led, David Kirkland depones, 

" That there were roads every airth through the said Easter Common, till 
the same was feued and enclosed." 

James Henderson depones, 

" That during the time deponed on, (viz., twelve or thirteen years prior to 
the year 1769,) there were many roads passing through the same from east to 

John Scott (being interrogated), 

" If there were many different roads through the common from the east to 
the west, and from the north to the south, and whether he has known clay and 
stones digged forth of that moor, and feal and divot cut thereon, which were 
carried to different places by the different roads ? depones affirmative:'' 

James Miller depones, 
" That the lands called Easter Common, till such time as they were en- 


closed, were all used as a commonty, and for casting feal, and digging clay 
by the Burgesses of Glasgow ; and that he never knew anybody quarrelled 
for so using thereof." 

Dr. Cleland in his Annals (p. 30) says, that about the end of 
the seventeenth century the ground adjoining the east side of the 
city, denominated the Gallowmuir, Borough Roads, or Blackfaulds, 
was'^ used as a grazing common for the cattle belonging to the 
citizens. In 1705 Mr. John Walkinshaw of Renfrewshire pur- 
chased a great part of those lands, and began to feu out ground 
for a village, which he called Barrowfield, since known by the 
name of Bridgeton. The progress of this village was very slow, 
for in the year 1724 he had only feued nineteen small lots. At 
this period the Town, in conjunction with the Trades' House, 
became proprietors of the whole, and it remained in their hands 
till 173 1, when they conveyed it to Mr. John Orr, a merchant in 
Glasgow, who was more successful in disposing of the ground than 
his predecessors. 

It appears, however, that the lands above mentioned had re- 
ceived the name of " Barrowfield " before the time of Mr. Walkin- 
shaw's purchase, as is shown by the following extract from the 
Burgh Records of Council, 25 th August 1643 : — 

" That George Duncan of Barrowfield gave 6000 merks to be warit upon 
a bell to be hung in the steeple of the Blackfriar's Kirk, to be rung every 
morning at Five."i 

When Rutherglen Bridge came to be built in 1775, the lands 
next the bridge received the appellation of " Bridgeton," in honour 
of the bridge. This bridge was said to have cost only ;^i8oo 
sterling, of which sum there was about £1000 sterling contributed 
by the Burgesses of Rutherglen, and the bridge was made free of 
toll. It is curious to contrast the small expense of building the 
Rutherglen Bridge across the Clyde with the enormous outlay for 
erecting the Broomielaw and Stockwell Bridges of modern times ; 
one year's interest of the respective costs of the latter bridges would 
amount to more than the whole cost of the Rutherglen Bridge. 

^ 4th February 1657. — "John Duncan, of Barrowfield, heir of George Duncan, of 
Barrowfield, his Father brother sone, — in a piece of land callit Denfield," E. 4s. — 


John Orr, mentioned by Cleland, was the grandfather of John 
Orr, late Town-Clerk of Glasgow, and was Bailie of the city in 
1 7 19. He was elected Rector of the University in 1734, and 
made a present of ;^500 sterling in aid of its library. 

With regard to Mr. Walkinshaw, the following notice is taken 
of him in Crawford's Renfrewshire, p. 9 1 : — 

"Gavin Walkinshaw, of that ilk, thought fit, in the year 1683, to alienate 
his estate of Walkinshaw to James Walkinshaw, merchant in Glasgow, second 
son of John Walkinshaw of Barrowfield, a cadet of his family who died in the 
year 1708 ; his estate devolved upon John Walkinshaw, now of Walkinshaw, 
his son and heir." 

So far as I have seen none of our Glasgow historians have 
informed us of Mr. Walkinshaw's purchases of the lands known as 
the Eastern Common ; but the following extract will throw some 
light on the subject, and show that Mr. Walkinshaw purchased 
Barrowfield before the year 1693, and not in 1705, as Cleland 
states : — 

loth March 1693. — "Joannes Walkinshaw de Barrowfield, haeres Joannes 
Walkinshaw de Barrowfield, patris, — in 4 libratis terris antiqui extensus 
terrarum de Barrowfield, comprehendentibus terras nuncupatus Nicalhouse, 
Litle Park, et Broomward cum decimi, de Broomward inclusis, et maneriei 
loco de Barrowfield : — "^"^ih acris tanquam parte aliarum 40 soliditarum ter- 
rarum de Barrowfield, omnibus infra parochiam et regalitatem de Glasgow : E. 
£^ 1 6s 5d, &c., feudi Firmae — terris nuncupatis Cumlachie, comprehenden- 
tibus \\ acram aliquando spectantem ad Jacobem Bredwoodet Gulielmum 
Andersone, infra territorium burgi de Glasgow : — posteriori tenemento cum 
horto in dicto burgo ex occidentali lattere viae de Saltmercat — E. servitium 
burgi. xiiii, 292." — (Retours.) 


" John Walkinshaw of Barrowfield, heir of John Walkinshaw of Barrow- 
field, his Father, in the four pound land of old extent of the lands of Barrow- 
field, comprehending the lands called Nicalhouse, Little Park, and Broomward, 
with the teinds of Broomward included, and the Manor Place of Barrowfield — 
33| acres part of the other forty shilling land of Barrowfield, all lying within 
the Parish and Regality of Glasgow. E., £^ i6s 5d, &c., in feu — the lands 
called Camlachie comprehending \\ acres formerly portioning to James Bred- 
wood and William Andersone, within the territory of the said Burgh of 
Glasgow : — the back tenement with the Garden in the said Burgh on the west 
side of the street of Saltmarket, to be held Burgage." — loth March 1693. 


Mr. Walkinshaw was eldest merchant bailie of Glasgow in 
1660, 1665, and 1673 ; and it is unfortunate that we have not 
learned from any of our historians what was the price which he 
paid for the above-mentioned lands. Mr. Walkinshaw belonged 
to the clique of the Blythswoods, Bells, Andersons, and Hamiltons, 
who then ruled the city at their pleasure, and who appear to have 
shared the greatest part of our great Eastern and Western Com- 
mons among themselves. Price paid by them unknown. 

Cromwell, by letter dated 30th September 1657, ordered the 
election of the Magistrates of Glasgow to be indefinitely deferred ; 
in consequence of which, and the death of Cromwell the ensuing 
year (3d September 1658), followed by the troubled times of the 
Restoration, the said clique and their party continued to vote 
themselves into office, and became supreme in Glasgow till the 
close of that century. Hence the loss of the largest portion of 
our Eastern and Western Commons, then parcelled out among 
the leaders of the clique. 

The death of Mrs. Walkinshaw is thus announced in the 
Glasgow Mercury of 23d November 1780 : — 

Edinburgh, 28th November 1780. — "On Saturday last (21st Nov.,) died 
here, aged 97, Mrs. Walkinshaw of Barrowfield." 

For an interesting account of the Walkinshaw family I must 
refer to an article in Glasgow, Past and Present, vol. ii. p. 511, 
and following, by our learned antiquarian fellow-citizen J. B., who 
has thrown more light upon the former state of the eastern parts 
of our city than all the other Glasgow historians put together. 
See also Crawfurd's RenfrewsJure, p. 90. But to return to the 
subject : there were several other feuars of the Western Common 
before Mr. Walkinshaw made the above purchase. 

1 6th September 1691. — "Jacobus Parland haeres Joannis Parland, 
mercatoris burgensis de Glasgow, patris, — in 4^ acris terrarum jacentibus in 
ilia parte vocata ' Fauld,' infra baronium et regalitatem de Glasgow, — E. 
23rd." (This was part of the lands of Blackfaulds, Caltonmouth.) 

1 6th September 1691. — "Jacobus Parland haeres Elizabathae Stewart 
conjugis Joannis Parland mercatoris in Glasgow, matris — in 4 acris tanquam 
dimidio 8 acrarum terrarum arabilium de Barrowfield, et comprehendentibus 


duo lie muire riggs, infra baroniam et regalitatem de Glasgow, — cum prate 
nuncupate Reidclothglott. — E. 2S, &c." — (Retours.) The Reidclothglott was 
the Camlachie Burn. 

24th October 1676. — " Mariota Hamiltoune haeres magistri Thomas 
Hamiltoune doctoris medicinae in burgo de Glasgow, patris, — in botho 
mercatoria in dicto burgo ex orientali latere viae regiae nuncupatae Salt- 
mercat ; 3 acris terrae infra territorium dicti uburgi — 4 acris terrarum infra 
territorium dicti burgi in parte vocata 'the Newgallowmour :' — 2 terris 
jacentibus discontigue in ilia parte vocata Newgallowmour: — 2 terris cum 
horto infra territorium dicti burgipropa croftam vocatum Egleshawes Croft, 
— E. firma burogalis — xxxiii. 64." — (Retours.) 

On the 9th of August 1786 the lands and barony of Barrow- 
field were exposed to sale by public roup, John Orr of Barrow- 
field having settled his affairs, which had been in a very embarrassed 
state for a considerable time. 

Glasgow Journal, 26th December 1776. — "The Trustees of John Orr of 
Barrowfield, and Matthew Orr of Stobcross, have now settled their affairs in 
such a manner as will enable them to relinquish the trust -right, and have 
already paid off the greatest part of the debts — their creditors who have not 
already been paid, are desired to call for payment ; on which the Trustees 
propose to divest themselves of the trust and reinvest J. and M. Orr." 

Glasgow Mercury, 20th July 1786. — "To be Sold, by Public Roup, on 
Wednesday, the 9th day of August next, within the Tontine Tavern, Glasgow, 
between the hours of One and Three afternoon, 

"The lands and barony of Barrowfield, with the lands of Camlachie, 
Gateside, Selkrigs acres, and some Borough lands adjoining to them, all lying 
contiguous in the immediate vicinty of the City of Glasgow, and Barony 
Parish of Glasgow and County of Lanark. The gross rent of this estate for 
1786, (including ^i 10 per annum of coal lordship,) is, .^1215 i 8|- 

Deduct public burdens, including land tax, . . 58 17 8"" 

Nett Rent, . . £11^6 /^ o\ 

The upset price of the whole, if set up in one Lot, will be ;^2o,ooo o o 

" The barony of Barrowfield holds of the crown, and is valued in the cess- 
books of the county at £97 S^ Scots. 

" There is upon the estate a good mansion house, with proper offices, and 
a large garden enclosed with a high stone wall, and well stocked with fruit 
trees, of which a purchaser can get possession at Whitsunday, 1787, and of 
20 acres of land adjoining the house, at Martinmas next. If no purchaser 
appear for the whole estate, it will be set up in the following lots, viz. — 

Lot I. The house, garden, and sundry fields round them, ^222 15 o 

which will be set up at ^5,100. 

















Lot 2. Camlachie parks, Gateside mill, and mill lands, and 

feus of Camlachie, . . . • £i77 o 

which will be set up at ^3,700. 
Lot 3. Crown-point houses and garden, Mountain blue, Ford 
Neuk, and Stabtree, 

which will be set up at ^2,160. 

Lot 4. Clyde-side, Goosefauld, and feus of Bridgeton, 

which will be set up at £s,76o. 

Lot 5. Broomward, and part of new feus of Calton, . 

which will be set up at ^4,000, 

Lot 6. Old feus of Calton, and remainder of new feus of ditto 

which will be set up at ^324. 

Lot 7. Coal Lordship, .... 

which will be set up at ^550. 

" The public burdens will be divided and proportioned upon the different 
Lots, according to their different rents. 

" The rental of this estate is yearly increasing by feuing out the lands 
nearest to Glasgow for building upon, for which there is at present a great 

" The lots will be altered, enlarged, or diminished, as persons intending to 
purchase may desire. 

" For particulars, apply to the proprietor at Glasgow, in whose hands the 
rental, progress of writs, and a plan of the estate are to be seen ; or to Mr, 
Lawrence Hill, Writer to the Signet, Edinburgh ; or Mr. Alexander Robertson, 
writer in Glasgow ; any of whom will also show the rental." 

John Orr appears to have become bankrupt soon after this 

Scois Magazi7te, September 1790. — "Bankrupts, — September ist, John 
Orr, of Barrowfield, the only solvent partner of Colquhoun, Shields and Co., 
merchants in Glasgow." 

"In December, 1723, the Trades' House united to the extent of one- 
fourth of the price in purchasing the estate of Barrowfield, then sold by John 
Walkinshavv, on 3d August, 1730. The House concurred in selling those 
lands to Mr. John Orr for ^^10,000, and received ^2,553 15s. as their share 
of the price." — (Crawfurd's Trades' House, p. 157.) 


The Andersons of Stobcross — The Bells of Cowcaddens, and Bell's Park — Incorporation 
of Tailors — Bailie Ronald, Breeches Maker to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, and 
Provost M'Dowall — Feu-duties in Anderston and Finnieston — Lady Barrowfield — 
Story of the Marriage of John Orr of Barrowfield— Anecdote — The Green eighty 
years ago — Craig's Park — The Golf Fields Lands in 1758 — Provost Mackenzie — 
Sketch of Alexander, Richard, and James Oswald — Extracts from The Glasgaio 

John Orr senior, in 1735, purchased the lands of Stobcross, con- 
sisting of sixty-two acres, and formerly the property of the Ander- 
sons of Dowhill, of clique notoriety. These lands anciently formed 
part of the Bishop's Forest, and afterwards of the Great Western 
Common. John Anderson was bailie of Glasgow in 163 1-2-7-9, 
1 64 1 -2-4-6-8, 1652-3-4, provost in 1655, (his son John, bailie 
in 1655), provost in 1656-7-8; William Anderson, provost in 
1664-5-6; (John Anderson jun., bailie, 1666); John Anderson, 
provost, 1667-8 ; William Anderson, provost, 1670- 1-2-3 \ John 
Anderson jun., bailie, 1674; N. Anderson, bailie, 1675-8-9; 
John Anderson j'un., bailie, 1683-6; John Anderson, provost, 
1689-90-95-96-99, 1700-3-4. So that the Anderson family 
formed one of the ruling clique of Glasgow Magistrates for 
upwards of seventy years, during which time the Stobcross 
estates appear to have been acquired by them.^ Those estates 
consisted of Anderston, Finnieston, Cranstonhill, Parson's Haugh, 
and others in that vicinity. Our Glasgow historians have given 

1 4th December 1692. — ''Jacobus Anderson, haeres Jacobi Andersone de Stob- 
cross Patris — in 40 solidatis terrarum antiqui extensus de Stobcrosse infra Parochiam 
Baroniam et Regalitatem de Glasgow — E. 12 bollae farinae avenaticae, &c., et I2d. in 
augmentationem feudifirmae, xliii, 128." — (Retours.) 


us no particulars how, or for what price, the Andersons came 
into possession of so large a share of the Great Western Common, 
belonging to the community of the city. 

The Bells of Cowcaddens, and of Bell's Parks, etc. (another 
of the said magisterial clique of the seventeenth century), besides 
the above estates of Cowcaddens, etc., had also acquired a part of 
the Stobcross lands, as the following advertisement shows : — 

Glasgow Journal i6th August 1756. — "That all and hail, these four 
acres of land, or thereby, being a part of these lands called Parson's Haugh, 
or Rankin's Haugh, lying upon the eastmost part or side of the lands of 
Stobcross ; as also a rood of land upon the east side of Stobcross, in that 
part thereof called the lands of Drouth, with the hail houses, well, and green, 
lying in the Barony parish of Glasgow, belonging to John Bell, heir of the 
deceased Richard Bell, merchant in Glasgow, are to be exposed to public roup, 
within the house of Andrew Armour, late Bailie of Glasgow, in different lots 
or parcels, upon Thursday the ninth day of September, 1756 years, between 
the hours of eleven in the forenoon, and two afternoon, said day. 

" The conditions of roup and progress of writs in the hands of John 
Wardrop, writer in Glasgow." 

In 1605 part of the lands of Parson's Haugh, or Rankin's 
Haugh, appears to have been possessed by a Mr. Alexander Andro. 

Mail 17th, 1605. — " Magister Alexander Andro, haeres Jacobi Andro 
fratris — in terris subscriptis prebendae de Glasgow vocatis, Prependarium de 
Glasgow -primo, viz: — 13 acris terrarum vulgo nuncupato, 'The Parsone's 
Croft,' ex parte boreah civitatis Glasguensis, prope lie Stabillgrene : — terris 
jacentibus prope Brumelaw ex occidentali parte dictae civitatis : — terris vulgo 
vocatis, the Parsone's Hauch, alias Rankynni's Hauch, jacentibus prope 
Stobcross ex parte occidentali civitatis Glasguensis, infra baroniam et regali- 
tatem de Glasgow: — E. £,20 — pomario ac diversis tenementis cum parvo 
horto infra territorium dictae civitatis, E. ;^8." 

The thirteen acres of the Parson's Croft first mentioned 
appear to have been acquired by the Incorporation of Tailors at 
a later time, and in the Glasgow Mercury, of date 9th March 
1780, we find the following advertisement : — 

«' Valuation in Lanarkshire." 

"The Corporation of Tailors in Glasgow have about ^120 valuation 
holding of the Crown in the county of Lanark to dispose of. 

"For particulars, apply to Mr. Robert M'Callum, deacon ; or Claud 
Marshall, writer in Glasgow." 


In 1857 the Incorporation of Tailors, besides their Gorbals 
lands, valued at £SgS> were possessed of feu-duties and ground 
rents to the extent of ^529 : 13s. 

The Tailors are the richest of the fourteen incorporated crafts 
in Glasgow, their stock in 1857 amounting to ^57,961 118:3 
(Crawfurd's Trades' House, page 164.) The greatest part of this 
capital has arisen from their lands of Parson's Croft, situated at 
the north-east part of the city. The principal feuar was Mr. Basil 
Ronald, glover. Mr. Ronald was the proprietor of the estate of 
Broomloan, near Govan, which he sold, and invested the proceeds 
of it in feuing and improving a large part of the lands of Parson's 
Croft. It however turned out an unfortunate speculation for Mr. 
Ronald, as the rage for feuing building grounds about Glasgow 
came to be directed almost entirely towards the west part of the 
city, so that Parson's Croft lands lay long neglected, or nearly so. 
Mr. Basil Ronald was bailie of Glasgow in 1805-6, and Convener 
of the Trades in 1811-12. When in London about the end of 
last century Mr. Ronald had the honour of personally taking the 
measure of the Prince of Wales ^ (afterwards George IV.) for 
a pair of buckskin breeches, and on this occasion he obtained the 
privilege from his Royal Highness of being appointed "Breeches 
Maker to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales." This title 
he got conspicuously painted in front of his premises in the Tron- 
gate, and for his sign he hung up above his shop door a veritable 
and true pair of buckskin breeches, surmounted by the Prince of 
Wales's armorial bearings, and by his Royal Highness's crest of three 
ostrich feathers. Amongst others I had the pleasure of getting a 
pair of buckskin breeches made by the Prince of Wales's breeches- 
maker, which fitted me to a "hair" — i.e. to the forty-eighth part of 
an inch. Mr. Ronald was a member of the Royal Glasgow Volun- 
teer Light Horse, and was a man of high spirit, for having received 
what he considered a gross affront from Provost James M'Dowall, 
he immediately made his will, posted up his books, and then 
sent a challenge to Provost M'Dowall. The provost having been 

^ The Prince of Wales was excessively fond of finery. — Mercury, 27th April, 1790. 
— "The Prince of Wales has a superb brilliant epaulet now forming at Jeffries, valued at 
;^20,ooo. The loop-stone is estimated at 5000 guineas." 



accustomed to associate much with mihtary gentlemen was at a 
loss what to do, as the matter in any point of view was a serious 
one for him ; he therefore consulted some of his friends, who 
having met with the friends of Mr. Ronald, these gentlemen 
interfered, and after having investigated the matter, they de- 
clared their opinion that the provost had been in the wrong, and 
accordingly recommended him to make an apology to Mr. Ronald, 
which having been done to Mr. Ronald's satisfaction, the matter 
ended into. 

The business of a glover at this time in Glasgow was a more 
lucrative one than it is at present, for besides the manufacture of 
buckskin and doeskin breeches and pantaloons, there was the 
fashion at that time of making presents of white kid gloves to all 
the members of a family to whom the notification of a marriage 
had been given ; and it was quite understood by the receivers 
that the glover who furnished the articles exchanged any of 
them if they did not fit. Some of the richer citizens also at 
family funerals laid down on a table in the lobby of the house 
where funeral service took place a lot of black mourning gloves 
for the selection of those who came to the funeral. 

The following notice is a curious instance of the practice of 
making presents in olden time : — 

Glasgow Journal, 31st October 1758. — "The partners of the old and 
new silk shops, here, having been in use for some time past of giving ' com- 
plitne7its ' of silk shoes to their customers, find it a very great expense upon 
them, and now the advance in the price of articles, together with the extraordi- 
nary charge of land carriage, put it out of their power any longer to continue 
the same : they therefore take this method of making intimation to their 
customers of this their resolution to prevent future * solicitations^ " 

From the concluding passage of the above notice it appears 
that the ladies of Glasgow at this time were in the practice of 
" soliciting " a yearly present of a pair of silk shoes from their 
silk mercers, nearly as a matter of right. Johnson says that 
" compliment " means something less than it declares ; but the 
ladies then considered it to mean something ino7'e than it declared. 

The Bells appear to have acquired the Cowcaddens shortly 


before the year 1692. Patrick Bell was bailie in 1676, and John 
Bell, provost, in 1674-5-8-9, 1 680-1. 

17th November 1697. — " Patricius Bell, haeres Magistrii Patricii Bell, 
mercatoris, nuper unius Ballivorum burgi de Glasgow patris, in 6 solidatis 
8 denariatis terris antiqui extensus de litle Cowcaddens, infra Baroniam et 
Regalitatem de Glasgow, E. 6.s, 8.d., &c. Feudifirmae et i6.d. in augmenta- 
tionem. xlvi. 905." 

Glasgow Journal, 5th June 1777. — "Notice. — These eleven acres of 
ground, or thereby, belonging to the City, lying on the east side of the road 
belonging to Mr. Peter Bell, of Cowcaddens, leading from the road to Wishat's 
House, to Bell's Haugh, is to be set on tack for 19 years, by public roup, 
within the Clerk's Chamber, on the nth day of June, current. The pur- 
chaser's entry to commence immediately after the roup, and the articles of the 
roup to be seen in the hands of the Town Clerks. N.B. — Some dung belong- 
ing to the City, lying near to the place where the Gallowgate Toll Bar lately 
stood, is to be sold by roup, at the above time and place." 

The city, therefore, appears at this time to have had a public 
depot for dung in the Gallowgate. 

It has already been stated that John Orr sen. purchased 
Stobcross in 1735, which estate having descended to his son 
William, appears to have been bequeathed, /r^ indiviso, between 
the sons of the said William, viz. John Orr, Town -Clerk, and 
Matthew Orr, coal-master. John Orr sen. died in 1744, and his 
son William in 1755. "Died at Barrowfield, near Glasgow, 
William Orr of Barrowfield, Esq., 4th May, 1755" {Scots 
Magazine^ 1 7 5 5 j P^g^ 210). 

The affairs of John and Matthew Orr,^ coal -masters, having 
become embarrassed, were placed under the management of 
Trustees, who in 1755 thus advertised the lands of Stobcross 
for sale : — 

Glasgow Journal, nth May 1775. — "To be Sold — The lands of Stob- 
cross, Cranstonhill, and Rankin's Haugh, situated on the River Clyde, a 
mile west from the City of Glasgow. The clear rent, including the supe- 
riority of the villages of Anderston and Finnieston, amounts to ^287 2s. 7id, 
besides the casualties of entry from the heirs and singular successors "of 
Feuars. These lands hold of the crown, and are valued in the cess-books 
at ;^2 5o Scots." 

^ Matthew Oit died at Kings Bay Estate, in Tobago, on the ist of August 1790. 


In December 1776 John and Matthew Orr, having got a 
settlement with their trustees, advertised as follows : — 

Glasgow Journal^ 3d October 1776. — «' To be Sold — The" superiority, 
feu-duties and casualties of the Estate of Stobcross, in the Barony Parish of 
Glasgow, and shire of Lanark, within a mile west from Glasgow, compre- 
hending the villages of Anderston and Finnieston, and sundry villas and 
fields adjacent. The lands of Stobcross, which are holden of the crown, are 
valued in the cess-roll at £1^0. The Feu-duties, which from the nature of 
the right, are perfectly secure, are easily collected, the vassals not being num- 
erous, and as most of the feu-rights contain prohibition to sub-feu or dispose 
to be holden of the vassals, or to allow the lands to be in non-entry, under an 
irritancy, so the casualties (which are doubling the feu-duties at the entry of 
heirs, and in part of the feu -rights doubling the feu-duty, in others, tripHng 
it, and in some paying a year's rent at the entry of singular successors) will 
be regularly paid. 

" Yearly Feu Duties, 

Hugh Niven pays yearly 

. ^23 



William Baird's heirs 




James Young 




Matthew Crawford 




Andrew Cochrane 


Ninian Glen and others 


John Smith . 



William Robertson . 


John Neilson 



John Johnston 



Adam Thomson 


John Govan . 


James Miller 


Mrs. Woodrow's heirs 



David Watson 

And seventeen other Feuars whose 

yearly Feu- 

duties are . 




Together amounting to 

. ^T35 



"And this ^135 12s 8|d, is clear rent, the proprietor of the Mansion 
House and property lands being burdened with the feu and teind duties and 
public burdens. The feu- duties and casualties will be sold off in lots before 
the day of the roup, if purchasers offer, and if any of the feuars incline their 
own feu -duties, the superior will be ready to treat with them on reasonable 
terms. The progress of writs, with duplicates of the original Feu Contract, 
and other articles of roup, will be seen in custody of Thomas and Archibald 
Grahame, writers, in Glasgow, to whom any willing to treat for whole or part 
may apply." 


Glasgow Journal, 8th August 1757. — "To be set in tack for a term of 
years as can be agreed upon, the Inn or PubHc House at the White Hart, in 
Gallowgate, Glasgow ; with BowHng Green, and Garden, and whole Offices 
belonging thereto, as presently possessed by James Buchanan, Vintner. Entry 
thereto at Whitsunday next ; these to be set jointly or separately. 

"Also, the House of Barrowfield, and Offices, with or without the Garden, 
and with or without a Park of four acres, arable, besides the grass of the 

"Apply to the Lady Barrowfield, at Barrowfield, or to Robert Barclay, 
writer, in Glasgow." 

This lady was the grandmother of John Orr, Town-Clerk, 
and belonged to the Stewart family of Castlemilk. I think that 
she was the sister of Sir Archibald Stewart of Castlemilk, and 
of the barony of Gourock, who died in 1763, and hence, from 
courtesy, she came to be called Lady Barrowfield. 

Glasgow Journal, ist July 1794. — "On Saturday last, (28th June) died 
at Jordanhill, in the 88th year of her age, Mrs. Margaret Stewart. This 
lady was first married to Mr. Peter Murdoch, Jr., merchant in Glasgow, and 
after his death, to John Orr, Esq., of Barrowfield." 

It is singular enough that Peter Murdoch, merchant, and 
John Orr of Barrowfield, were joint bailies of Glasgow in 17 19, 
when their future wife was just commencing her teens. 

" Mr. William Orr [son of the above-mentioned Margaret Stewart] had two 
sons, John and Matthew, and four daughters, Esther, Helen, Martha, and 
Janet ; all were unmarried, except the last, who became the wife of Mr. 
Kennedy of Auchtyfardle. Mr. Gilbert Kennedy, who died 4th January 1855, 
was the son of this marriage, with whom the Hne of this old Glasgow family 
of Orr became extinct. The first John Orr, and all his descendants, are 
interred in the crypt of the Glasgow Cathedral." — {Glasgow, Past and Present, 
vol. ii. p. ^zi, Jootnote, by J. B.) 

Mr. Kennedy of Auchtyfardle was an advocate in Edinburgh, 
and was twice married, as follows : — 

Scots Magazine, 1771. — " May ist. Married at Glasgow, Kennedy, 

Esq. of Auchterfardle, to Miss Peggy Craig, daughter of Dr. Andrew Craig, 
Physician in that City." (Her uncle was Lord Craig, of the Court of Session.) 


A daughter of this marriage married Mr. Archibald Bogle, 
who left issue, some of whom, I believe, took the name of Kennedy 

Weekly Magazine, iT]2>- — " M^h August. Married at Edinburgh, James 
Kennedy of Auchtefardle, Esq., to Miss Jessy Orr, sister of John Orr, Esq. 
of Barrowfield." And on the same day, 14th August 1773. — "Married at 
Glasgow, Thomas Donald of Geilston, Esq., to Miss Jeany Dunlop, eldest 
daughter of Colin Dunlop of Carmyle, Esq." (Issue from this marriage was 
C. D. Donald, Esq.) 

Mr. James Kennedy, unfortunately, was a partner in the Ayr 
Bank (a concern nearly as ruinous to its shareholders as the 
Western Bank was in later times), in consequence of which he 
was obliged to sell his estate of Auchtyfardle, which estate was 
purchased by Mr. Mosman. 

The Ayr Bank commenced business in 1774, and in the 
short space of two years — viz. in 1776 — its partners had not 
only lost their whole capital, but also had incurred debts to nearly 
a like extent. 

The history of the marriage of John Orr of Barrowfield, late 
Town-Clerk of Glasgow, is rather romantic, and I believe that it is 
little known to the present generation of our citizens, the circum- 
stance having taken place more than fourscore years and ten ago, 
when Mr. Orr was quite a young man. It happened thus : — 

There was a very handsome and well-educated young lady at 
that time in Glasgow, who was the bosom friend and intimate 
companion of Mr. Orr's sisters, Esther, Helen, Martha, and Janet, 
and was frequently invited by those ladies to pay them family 
visits, during the course of which Mr. Orr fell deeply in love, and 
came under an obligation to marry her ; but the transaction, in the 
meantime, was to be kept secret. So matters stood for some time ; 
but a lengthened correspondence by letters took place between the 
parties ; Mr. Orr, however, having changed his mind, slackened 
in his addresses, and delayed in performing his obligation, which 
ended in his endeavouring to get quit of it altogether, by denying 
its validity. 

In those trying circumstances the poor young lady, as might 
have been expected, was distressed beyond measure, and totally 


at a loss what to do. Being of a mild and gentle disposition, she 
hesitated to take any legal steps against Mr. Orr ; knowing his 
energy of character and influence in society, she doubted of being 
able to obtain redress by applying to a court of law. Here, how- 
ever, fortunately for herself, she met with a warm and devoted 
friend in Mr. Thomas Buchanan of Ardoch, a gentleman as 
energetic and as influential in society as Mr. Orr himself Mr. 
Buchanan took the greatest interest in the young lady's case, as 
much so as if he himself had been interested in the issue ; and he 
strongly advised this lady to commence an action of declarator of 
marriage against Mr. Orr. She accordingly put herself entirely in 
the hands of Mr. Buchanan, who thereon immediately, on the part 
of the young lady, raised an action of declarator before the Court 
of Session, which action was strenuously opposed by Mr. Orr. 
The action had proceeded some length, with the usual delays of 
the law, when Mr. Buchanan one day happened to ask the young 
lady to show him the wJwle of the letters, without exception, which 
she had received from Mr. Orr during the time of their corre- 
spondence. This at first she expressed her unwillingness to do, 
as it hurt her feelings to show some of those letters to a third 
party ; she, however, consented to Mr. Buchanan's request, and 
placed in his hands th^ entire correspondence which had taken 
place between Mr. Orr and herself 

Mr. Buchanan having scanned over a great file of correspond- 
ence to no suitable purpose, at length hit upon a letter from Mr. 
Orr to the lady, in which he concluded by signing himself, " Your 
affectionate husband, John Orr." No sooner did Mr. Buchanan 
see this signature than he quickly thrust the letter into his pocket, 
exultingly exclaiming, " This will do — this will do;" and so in fact 
it did ; for, on its production in Court, their lordships found John 
Orr and the young lady to be lawfully married persons. 

Mr. Orr did not appeal to the House of Lords against the 
judgment of the Court of Session ; but, being greatly chagrined 
and disappointed at this forced marriage, he obstinately refused to 
cohabit with his wife or to have any intercourse whatever with her, 
so that Mrs. Orr remained a number of years a sort of forlorn 
widow ; she, however, conducted herself towards Mr. Orr in those 


trying circumstances with such prudence and propriety as to 
command the sympathy and regard of all classes in Glasgow. 

A considerable number of years having elapsed without Mr. 
Orr having paid any attention to his wife, but, on the contrary, 
having wilfully neglected her, she, by the advice of her friends 
raised an action of divorce in the Court of Session against Mr. Orr 
for wilful desertion. Mr. Orr made little opposition to this action, 
except such as the forms of Court required, for he was as anxious 
to obtain a divorce as Mrs. Orr herself, in consequence of which 
Mrs. Orr readily succeeded in divorcing Mr. John Orr, who never 
afterwards married. By statute 1573, c. 55, it is enacted that 
where any of the spouses shall divert from the other without 
sufficient grounds for four years, the party injured may sue for a 
divorce. Mrs. Orr was married a second time, and lived happily, 
greatly regarded. She died on the 7th of April 1790 ; Mr. Orr 
died on the i6th of December 1803, and Mr. Thomas Buchanan 
on the loth of December 1789. 

Although Mr. Orr's conduct towards this lady cannot be 
justified, nevertheless it ought to be kept in view that he was then 
a young, thoughtless man, whose companions were all dashing 
country gentlemen, horse racers and fox hunters, who were not 
very rigid as to morals. Mr. Orr's future conduct, however, was 
such as to command the highest respect from all classes in Glas- 
gow as a gentleman of strict honour and integrity, discharging all 
his duties, public and private, without reproach. 

In 1794 Mr. Orr was elected captain -commandant of the 
Glasgow Volunteer Light Horse by the votes of the troop, on 
which occasion I had the pleasure of giving him my vote, and can 
vouch for his general affability and gentlemanly manners during 
the time that he was our captain-commandant. He was a first- 
rate horseman in his early days ; but in 1794 the gout prevented 
his being very agile at a rapid charge of the troop, or at the 
Austrian sword exercise. 

On the 20th of June 1781 Mr. Orr was elected by the 
Magistrates and Town Council of Glasgow one of the clerks of 
the city, in place of Archibald M'Gilchrist, deceased, being at that 
time an advocate at the Bar in Edinburgh. 


In 1804 a monument was erected at the public expense in 
the choir of the Cathedral to the; memory of John Orr, advocate, 
and Town -Clerk of Glasgow, on which there is the following 
inscription : — 

" This Monument, 


By the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Council, 

In Honour of the Memory of 

JOHN ORR, OF Barrowfield, 


Principal Town-Clerk of Clasgow, 


The Sense Entertained by 

A Grateful Community, 

Of the Zeal, Talents, and Integrity 

Displayed by him, during a period of 22 years, 

In discharging the various duties of 

A most important Office. 

Died the i6th December, MDCCClll, Aged 58 years." 

The following gossiping little anecdote is perhaps somewhat 
out of place ; nevertheless, as characteristic of the merry mode 
of conducting dinner-parties in Glasgow during last century, its 
rehearsal may be pardoned. 

Our elderly citizens must remember that, on the occasion of a 
dinner-party being given, it was customary, immediately after the 
ladies had retired, to place the great punch-bowl upon the table, 
and the landlord to proceed in calling for a round of toasts of 
young ladies. 

On one of those occasions the landlord commenced by toast- 
ing, in full bumper, "Miss Esther Orr," which was drunk with 

The next gentleman being called for his toast, gave " Miss 
Esther Crawfurd," which was received with like honour. 

The third gentleman being requested to name a lady for his 
toast, gave " Miss Esther Gray," which was also honoured by the 
usual applause. 

It now came to the turn of an Irish gentleman to give a lady 
for his toast ; but he not being acquainted with our Glasgow 
customs, on being called to name a lady, thus addressed the 


landlord : — " Sir, I am sorry that I cannot give you ' my sister,' 
as I have never ' a sister ' to give you ; but I will give you * my 
mother,' " which toast was received with thunders of applause and 
merriment. Such little stories in olden times soon passed from 
mouth to mouth through the whole city, then a small place, and 
formed the tittle-tattle of most social parties. 

From this digression I must now proceed to take notice of the 
Low Green of Glasgow and its environs, and to give a few extracts 
from various writers who have handed down to us sundry scattered 
details of the former state of the district in question. 

In the Origines Parochiales, page 15, it is stated that the first 
notice we have of the "Common Green" was in the year 1487, 
and of the Gallowmuir and Barrowfield in i 529. — (Lib. Coll. N.D. 
200; and Reg. Glasg. 500.) 

M'Ure, in his history of Glasgow, published in 1736, thus 
writes : — 

" This City hath acquired three parks, one lying at the east corner, which 
is inclosed with a strong wall, and which now belongs to the merchants, 
commonly called the ' Craig's Park,' nobly beautified with a stately grove of 
trees, which is a beautiful view to all resorting to the High Church and the 
burials within the church-yard thereof. This great planting was set by order 
of the worthy Adam Montgomery, merchant, then dean of gild." (17 15-16.) 

" The second park is commonly called the ' New Green,' adorned with 
pleasant galleries of elm trees, and situated upon the south-east corner of the 
City, and is enclosed with a stately stone wall 2500 ells in length, and fenced 
on the south with the river Clyde, it hath all the summer time betwixt two 
and three hundred women bleaching of linen cloth and washing linen cloths of 
all sorts in the river Clyde, and in the midst of this inclosure there is an 
useful well for cleansing the cloths after they are washed in the river ; likewise 
there is a lodge built of freestone in the midst of it, for a shelter to the herd 
who waits upon the horse and cows that are grazed therein. The third 
inclosure is the old green lying closs to the south-west corner of the City, and 
is much less than any of the other two. It is only fenced round with pali- 
sadoes, and no stone wall, but that loss is made up by one hundred and fifty 
trees growing round the green pretty large. Within this green is the rope 
work, which keeps constantly about twenty men at work, and the proprietors 
thereof can furnish as good tarr'd cable ropes, and white ropes untarr'd, as any 
in Britain. On the west end of this green is the Glass Work." 

I remember the three parks mentioned by M'Ure, more than 
fourscore years ago, when they stood in pretty much the same 


state as described by that historian. Craig's Park, now the 
Necropolis, was then a piece of bleak hilly ground, on which 
grew a clump of skranky fir trees. This park could not with 
propriety have been called a beautiful stately grove, as M'Ure 
calls it, but the view from it was certainly very grand. Besides 
the grounds of the present Necropolis, " Craig's Parks " included 
all the Golf-Hill lands; both of these appear originally to have 
formed part of the Bishop's Forest, and afterwards of the great 
Eastern Common, where the golf no doubt was played, long 
before the time when that game came to be fashionable last 
century in the Green of Glasgow. In 1758 the Golf- Field 
lands, then belonging to the Merchants' House, were let for four 
pounds sterling of annual rent. When Provost James M'Kenzie 
purchased the Golf-Hill property, it was lying quite open to the 
public, who rambled through it at their pleasure ; but Mr. 
M'Kenzie put a stop to this state of matters by erecting fences, 
and by turning off his grounds all persons who made their appear- 
ance thereon. This he did without ceremony, and in what was 
then considered a very rough and rude manner, causing much 
ill-\Vill to himself He, however, had previously stuck up notices 
at several places of the grounds giving intimation that trespassers 
on them would be prosecuted, as the grounds were private pro- 
perty. Provost James M'Kenzie was the first person in Glasgow 
who openly and avowedly changed the pronunciation of the name 
of " M'Kenzie." Provost M'Kenzie and his brothers, Daniel and 
Matthew, and his sisters, Jess and Mary, were known in Glasgow 
in my early days only by the surname, pronounced " M'Kingie," 
or " M'Keengie ;" indeed the whole clan were so named at that 
time. As English pronunciation gradually came to be fashionable 
in Glasgow, the change from " M'Kingie," or " M'Keengie," to 
" M'Kenzie " soon became general. The above M'Kenzie family 
resided in the corner tenement of Bell Street and Candleriggs, 
where the Herald newspaper was afterwards printed. I re- 
member about eighty years ago of having been sent a message 
to one of this family, and checked by the maid-servant for using 
the name " M'Keengie," saying that she supposed I meant 
" M'Kenzie." 


With regard to the second park mentioned by M'Ure, it is 
shown on the plan annexed to these jottings ; the saw -mill, 
however, did not exist till after M'Ure's time. It may be re- 
marked that this park was called by M'Ure the " New Green," 
from which it may be inferred that the great Eastern and West- 
ern Commons were anterior to the Low Green of Glasgow as 
commons. Of this park more will be said in the sequel. 

As to the third enclosure, called by M'Ure the "Old Green," 
I remember it very well in the exact state as described by our 
said Glasgow historian, only the 150 growing trees had dis- 
appeared, and the space on which they flourished was purchased 
in my time by Mr. Alexander Oswald of Shieldhall, the father of 
the late James Oswald, Esq., M.P., for los. per square yard; 
which ground he held for many years till he got a profit thereon. 
Mr. Oswald was a great speculator, and generally succeeded in 
his land purchases, as he was a stiff holder ; but he almost always 
failed in his produce speculations, as his system of steadily holding 
out for a rise of price very frequently ended in a heavy loss. He 
did not seem disposed to adopt the plan of selling quickly on the 
occasions of a falling market. Mr. Alexander Oswald jun., 
appears in the books of the Merchants' House to have become 
a member 26th January 1786, as the son of the Rev. James 
Oswald, Perthshire, 

The Custom House in Great Clyde Street is built upon the 
west boundary of Mr. Oswald's purchase in the old Green. 

Richard and Alexander Oswald, the early members of the 
Glasgow Oswald family, were rather remarkable persons. In 
1742 they built a large four-storey tenement and offices, also an 
extensive court of storehouses and cellars shut up by a gate, 
having stone vaults and arched premises that would hold upwards 
of 700 hogsheads of tobacco, besides brew -house, shades, and 
stabling, all entering by a paved cartway from the street, and the 
whole shut up with an outer gate. This property stood on the 
eastern boundary of the old Green of Glasgow, and now forms the 
Ropework Court, 108 Stockwell Street. In the year 1778 the 
above-mentioned premises, or a great part of them, were occupied 
by Gilbert Hamilton as agent for the Carron Company, 


Glasgow Mercury^ 17th September, 1778. 


" London Porter 

of the best quality, either for home sale or exportation 

in hds. or in bottles. 

Sold by Gilbert Hamilton and Co., at their cellars, in Mr. Oswald's Close, 

Stockwell, Glasgow. 

" At the same place may be had Bath-Stove Grates of the newest patterns, 
and of all sizes. Likewise, 

Boilers, Tea Kettles, 

Bars and Bearers, Tea Boilers, 

Pots, Sad and Box irons, 

Pans, Adjusted Weights, 

Bushes, Ship Hearths, 

Girdles, Cabin Stoves, 

Cylinder Ovens, Wheels and Pinions, 

And all other goods manufactured at Carron. 

" Also, Oil of Vitrol of the very best quality from the works of Preston 

Mr. Hamilton afterwards occupied premises now the south 
part of Exchange Square, where he acted as agent for the Carron 
Company, and the Bank of Scotland. He was Dean of Guild in 
1790-91, and Provost of Glasgow in 1792-93. 

Glasgovj Jottrnal, 19th April 1756. — "They write from London that Mr. 
Richard Oswald, merchant, there, is appointed Commissary of Provisions 
and Stores for the Camp on Burham Downs, consisting, it is said, of 25,000 

This appointment led to others of a like lucrative character, 
and ended in Mr. Richard Oswald being promoted to the situa- 
tion of head commissary to the English Army during the time 
when Britain was engaged in war with France and Spain in 
Europe, and Canada in America. Mr. Oswald's contracts for 
supplying our troops with necessaries were renewed from time to 
time, as the war continued ; in the course of these transactions 
Mr. Oswald acquired an immense fortune. Peace was concluded 
on the lOth February 1763. 

In 1783, the country having become tired of the American 
War of Independence, and the House of Commons having ex- 
pressed a strong opinion against its continuance, Government 


employed Mr. Richard Oswald jun. privately to negotiate for a 
peace, for it was not the wish of the Ministry to appear on the 
stage at the outset of these negotiations. The preliminaries of 
the peace of 1783, therefore, came to be arranged principally 
through the agency of Mr. Richard Oswald jun. About the 
time when these matters were going on, a great disaster had 
taken place in our Scotch mercantile affairs by the bankruptcy 
of the Ayr Bank, in which a large number of landed proprietors 
in Ayrshire held shares. The result of this failure brought a 
great many estates in that county into the market, and Mr. 
Oswald, taking advantage of the opportunity, made large pur- 
chases of lands in various parts of Ayrshire, amongst which was 
the estate of Auchincruive. It was reported that he had laid out 
half a million sterling in land before his death, which brought 
him in a rental of ;^20,ooo per annum. 

These lands came by inheritance to James Oswald, Esq., M.P., 
who died in 1853, but before succeeding to them Mr. James 
Oswald had, unfortunately, lost his all by an unlucky cotton 
speculation. The lands in question, however, being strictly en- 
tailed, still remain in the Oswald family. 

Mr. James Oswald opened up Maxwell Street to Great Clyde 
Street, through that portion of the old Green of Glasgow which 
had been purchased by his father. He likewise subscribed ;^ioo 
towards defraying the expense of widening the said street ten 
feet on the north part. Before this time Maxwell Street was a 
narrow lane, shut up on the south by the extensive works of 
Stephen Maxwell, coppersmith. Owing to the state of the 
different properties on the line of Maxwell Street, it became 
necessary to give the street a slant at Howard Street. East 
Howard Street was also formed by the energy of Mr. Oswald, the 
greatest part of its ground (being the old ropework mentioned by 
M'Ure) then belonging to Mr. Oswald. This ropework within 
my memory was a tiled shed extending from Ropework Court to 
the corner of the now St. Enoch Square, and from thence con- 
tinued as an open ropework to Jamaica Street, so that a cable 
could have been spun there, reaching from Stockwell to Jamaica 


A considerable portion of the front line of East Howard 
Street belonged to the city of Glasgow, being the north boundary 
of the Town's Hospital ; and here, I remember, were placed the 
cells for lunatics, having small iron-grated windows looking into 
the hospital burying -ground. These cells were most wretched 
holes, on the ground-floor, in which the unhappy sufferers for the 
most part had to sustain the additional affliction of solitary con- 
finement, and the violent ones to pine on a bed of straw. Regard- 
ing the change which has taken place in our city in this respect, 
we have only to cast our eyes upon the splendid establishment at 

The property next to the Town's Hospital was Bogle and 
Scott's timber-yard, on which the Roman Catholic Chapel has 
been built. Howard Street was so named by Mr. Oswald, in 
honour of the celebrated philanthropist, John Howard. 

Glasgow Journal^ 27th January 1763. — "On Monday last, (24th) Died 
at Scotstown, Alexander Oswald, Esq., a gentleman of great probity, honour, 
and knowledge in trade, by which he acquired a handsome fortune. For 
some years past he Hved retired from public business, employing himself 
in acts of friendship, generosity, and hospitality." 

Glasgow Jotirnal, 14th August 1766. — "On Tuesday last, (12th August), 
Died at Scotstown, Richard Oswald, Esq., late merchant in Glasgow," — 
{Old Statistical Accoiitit of Scotland^ vol. 20, p. 533.) 

"Town and Parish of Thurso, 1798. 
" The Oswalds of Glasgow, who have long been eminent merchants, 
derived their origin from Thurso. Their ancestor was one of the baihes of 
Thurso, in the last century. Richard Oswald, late merchant in London, and 
one of the plenipotentiaries from the court of Great Britain, at settling the 
peace of 1783, was, in his younger days, an unsuccessful candidate upon a 
comparative trial for the office of Master of the Parochial School of Thurso, 
whereof the salary was ^100 — Scotch (^8 6s 8d,) and took his disappointment 
so much to heart that he left the country, and never more returned to it. But 
for that circumstance, it is probable he would have lived and died in obscurity." 1 

Oswald is not a Glasgow name ; we look in vain for the name 
in the pages of M'Ure, and other early Glasgow historians, or in 
the primitive Annals of Cleland. Even in the present Glasgow 
Directory there are only two individuals of the name of Oswald, 

^ I think this anecdote must refer to Richard Oswald sen., who died in 1766. 


neither of whom are related to the families of Scotstovvn and 

Glasgow Journal, iith November 1784. — "On the 5th current, died, at 
the House of Achincruive, Richard Oswald, Esq." 

1 8th November 1784. — "The late Richard Oswald, Esq., was formerly 
an eminent merchant in London, and lately employed at Paris as Minister 
Plenipotentiary from Great Britain, to settle a treaty of peace with the com- 
missioners of the United States of America. Perhaps there are few men 
whose loss will be more generally felt or more sincerely regretted than that of 
Mr. Oswald, for few men possessed a finer understanding, more liberal senti- 
ments, or more extensive information. Blessed with affluence, his principal 
study seemed to be to employ it in acts of kindness and generosity." 

From Crawfurd's Renfrewshire, page 347, we learn — 

"That Scotstown was purchased in the year 1748 from Mr. Walkinshaw's 
creditors, by Messrs. Richard and Alexander Oswald, brothers, merchants in 
Glasgow. They were never married, but conveyed the estate of Scotstown, with 
their contiguous lands of Balshagrie, to George Oswald, merchant in Glasgow, 
eldest son of their cousin the Rev. Dr. James Oswald, late minister of Methven, 
in Perthshire, whose second son, Alexander Oswald, Esq. of Shieldhall, died in 
1 813, and his brother, Richard Oswald, Esq. of Auchincruive, died in 1784-" 
" George Oswald succeeded to the estate of Scotstown in 1766. He married, 
in 1764, Margaret Smyth, second daughter of David Smyth, Esq., of Methven. 
She died in 1792, leaving four sons and seven daughters." 

Glasgow Journal, 26th January 1764. — "Edinburgh, i8th January, 
1764. — Last night (Tuesday, 17th January), Mr. George Oswald, merchant 
in Glasgow, was married here to Miss Peggy Smyth, second daughter to 
David Smyth, of Methven, Esq." 

Of this marriage there remains here yet alive Miss Oswald of 
Scotstown, who was born on the 6th of July 1767, consequently in 
the ninety-seventh year of her age, and unquestionably the matron 
of the city. Miss Oswald is well known over all Glasgow ; and it 
may be truly said of her what was said of the founder of the family, 
" Blessed with affluence, her principal study seems to be to employ 
it in acts of kindness and generosity." 

Crawfurd, in his Renfrewshire, page 347, says that Richard 
Alexander Oswald was the eldest son of George Oswald of Scots- 
town ; but I cannot reconcile this with an entry in the books of 
the Merchants' House, viz. — Merchant House Records, 18 14 — 
" Richard Alexander Oswald, son of Alexander Oswald of Shield- 


hall, entered the Merchants' House on the 26th of August, 
1 8 14." This entry must have been made by Mr, R. A. Oswald 

Scots Magazine, 1750, page 549. — "The Commission of General Assembly, 
on the 14th of November, appointing a committee of their own number, three 
of whom to be a quorum, to admit Mr. James Oswald to be minister of 
Dunnet, to the ministry at Methven, on the 12th of December, or if hindered 
by the rigour of the season, on any other day the committee shall appoint, 
before the Commissioners' meeting in March next : and nominate Mr. 
Alexander M'Laggan, moderator. As the Presbytery of Perth had been 
ordained by the last Assembly to admit Mr. Oswald on or before the loth 
of July last, the Commission issued a warrant for summoning them to appear 
at their bar in March next, to answer for their disobedience." (Page 590, 
Mr. Oswald was admitted 12th December, 1750, without opposition.) 

N.B. — James Oswald, Esq., M.P., was named " James " after 
his grandfather, the Rev. James Oswald. 

Before the Bottlework at the Broomielaw was built in 1730 
the ground on which it was erected formed part of the old Green, 
which Green included at that time the whole of St. Enoch Square 
and Jamaica Street. We find by the following notice that in 
1766, being two years before the Broomielaw Bridge was built, 
there had been a ropework in Argyll Street and Anderston Walk, 
at the head of Jamaica Street. 

Glasgow Journal, 12th June 1766. — "This is to give notice, that whoso- 
ever has got ropes or twine from Adam Paterson, ropemaker, at the head of 
Jamaica Street, Glasgow, from and after the first of May, 1765, and which 
may be unpaid, are hereby desired not to pay the price thereof to the said 
Adam Paterson, as he has no right thereto. And whoever has got ropes or 
twine from the said Adam Paterson, and is owing money for them since the 
time above mentioned, are desired, as soon as convenient, to pay the same to 
James Graham at the said ropework." 

The above appears to have been an open ropework, extend- 
ing from Jamaica Street westwards upon the Anderston Road, 
opposite Grahamstone, and to have been taken possession of by 
the Dumbarton Road Trustees shortly before the foregoing date. 

Glasgow Journal, 19th July 1764. — "The Trustees appointed by Act of 
Parliament, on the toll roads betwixt Glasgow and Dumbarton, having of late, 
at a great expense, caused make a path for persons travelling on foot, to and 


from Anderston and Grahamstone, and for preventing horses and carriages 
going thereon, have erected cross-bars at proper distances ; some mahcious 
and ill-disposed persons have broken down some of those cross-bars ; and 
within these eight days past have also broke down sundry gates of the fences 
about Anderston, particularly of those possessed by the proprietors of the 
brewerie and delphhouse, Hugh Niven, John Brown, and James Graham. 
Whoever shall discover the perpetrators, so as they may be convicted of all 
or any of the forenamed crimes, shall receive ten pounds sterling of reward 
from the Trustees. And the Trustees hereby discharge all persons whatever 
from travelling on the said footpath, with horses, or any manner of carriages 
for the future, with certification to the contraveners that they will be prosecuted 
therefor in terms of law. Proper persons are appointed by the Trustees to 
notice and inform of such as offend in this respect." 

The proprietors of the ground on the south side of Anderston 
Walk at this time appear to have been the above James Graham, 
owner of the ropework, Matthew Reid, Hugh Niven for the Delft- 
house Company, Bailie John Brown for Brown, Carrick, and 
Company's Bleachfield, and the Anderston Brewery Company. 
I remember the cross-bars standing upon the footpath of the 
Anderston Walk. They were constructed so as to admit a free 
passage to a traveller on foot, but prevented all regular or con- 
tinuous intercourse by horses or carriages. In 1756 there seems 
to have been a toll-bar at Grahamstone. 

Glasgo%u Journal, 29th March 1756. — "By order of the Trustees, there is 
to be set in tack, for one year, by public roup, the tolls of the bar at Grahamstone 
and Broomielaw, on Dumbarton Road," etc. 

Besides the Road Trustees, Mr. James Monteith (father of 
the late Henry Monteith, Esq., M.R) seems to have taken a 
special charge of the Anderston footpath, as the following extract 
from the Glasgozu Jotirnal shows : — 

Glasgow, 1 6th August 1781. — " Gravel walk betwixt Glasgow and 
Anderston. That the gravel walk betwixt Glasgow and Anderston is to be 
repaired immediately. Any persons willing to undertake it are desired to 
apply to James Monteith, manufacturer in Anderston, who will show the plan, 
and receive estimates." 

The value of ground at this time upon the line of the Ander- 
ston Walk may be seen by the following advertisement : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 24th February 1785. — "To be sold, by public roup, 


etc., all and whole that piece of garden ground, in Broomielaw Croft, consist- 
ing of three acres and a half, or thereby, lying immediately to the east of the 
Delft-house grounds, and presently possessed by John M'Aulay, gardener. 

'* For the encouragement of bidders, this piece of ground will be exposed 
at the upset price of ^{^400 sterling." 

Here there is nothing said about square yards, or the one half 
of the street to be included in the measurement ; but half acres, 
or thereby, are set forth in a fine slumpy manner. 

In 1775 the greatest part of Jamaica Street on the west was 
waste ground, on which the Magistrates of Glasgow had erected a 
depot for dung. 

"Brown's, Glasgow, 113 — Brownfield, a part of the Broomielaw Croft in 
the burgh roods of Glasgow, consisting of not more than ten acres, was feued 
off in 1791, at a ground annual amounting to upwards of ;!{^30o per annum. 
About 1766, this plot of ground was feued from the College of Glasgow by 
Brown, Carrick, and Co., and was used by them as a bleachfield." 

Glasgow Journal, 20th April 1775. — "The grass for this season of the 
plot of ground on this north side of the new breast, as railed in, to be set for 
a cutting only this season. Also the dung on the west side of Jamaica Street. 
Likewise the grass of the old Green, adjoining the ropework ; the square 
thereof from Mr. Bogle's (timber-yard) to the glasswork dyke only, being 
upwards of two acres, are to be let for three years." 

The two acres last mentioned were purchased afterwards by 
Mr. Alexander Oswald, as before stated, and descended to his son, 
James Oswald, M.P., who opened Maxwell Street through them. 

Glasgow Mercury, loth April 1777. — "Notice, That the Magistrates of 
and Council of Glasgow have resolved to sell the ground for building on the 
old Green of Glasgow, St. Enoch's Square, on the west of Jamaica Street, 
fronting to Argyll Street, and the steadings on the east and west sides of 
Jamaica Street. Any person inclining to purchase may apply to the town 
clerks of Glasgow." 

Mercury, 13th March 1777. — " Notice. — The Cowcaddens Hill Park, and 
the three acres of the Laigh Cowcaddens Park, will be rouped for a 19 year 

Glasgow Journal, 3d April 1777. — '< A new street to be opened. — To be 
sold in lots, for the purpose of building upon. That park or inclosure in the 
Broomielaw Croft, fronting the lower Quay at the Broomielaw. In this in- 
closure there is to be laid open a street 70 feet wide, leading from the 
Anderston Road to the river Clyde, parallel with Jamaica Street. Apply to 
Mr. William Martine, at the Delft-house." 

8th August 1776. — "On Tuesday, a fine field of oats was cut down at 
St. Enoch's Croft, in the neighbourhood of this city." 


Glasgow Journal, 20th February 1777. — "The College of Glasgow pro- 
pose to sell immediately their 3^ acres, more or less, of land, lying near the 
Broomielaw. Their terms are £,x$ yearly of feu duty or ground annual in 
the option of the College, and a sum of money in cash. Offers will be received 
by Principal Leachman, till Monday, the 3d of March next, and the highest 
offer made on or before that day will be preferred without delay." 

On these lands a short cross street has been formed called 
College Street, which runs from M'Alpine Street to Brown Street. 

It appears that the said property had been originally a gift to 
a monastic establishment, which at the Reformation was bestowed 
by the Crown upon the College of Glasgow. The College, being 
exempted from the payment of certain local taxes, claimed relief 
from the said taxes which had been charged upon the lands in 
question, alleging that as these lands formed a part of the College 
estates, they came within the right of exemption enjoyed by the 
College itself. This claim, however, was disputed, and failed of 
success, so that College Street lands are held in a like manner 
with the contiguous properties. 

Glasgow Journal^ 2d November 1775. — " Notice. — The inhabitants of 
Finnieston request of those gentlemen who send their horses to the fields for 
exercise, that they will desire their servants not to ride through the village in 
such crowds, and at such speed, as has been done for some time past. The 
bleachfields, from the quantities of dust dispersed by the horses, are almost 
ruined, and the lives of the inhabitants, from the number and fury of the 
riders, have been often in danger. They request also that no person after 
this will carry away sand from the High Street, as they propose at their own 
expense to form that street in such a manner as to be convenient for those 
who have occasion necessarily to pass along it." 

Glasgow Journal, i8th July 1776. — "To be sold or set immediately. 
Three acres of garden ground in St. Enoch's Croft, on the north side of 
Argyll Street of Glasgow, as presently possessed by John Kennedy and John 
Colquhoun, gardeners, with several dwelling houses and byres, together with 
the growing crop of garden stuffs, cattle, and fruits on the premises. The 
said three acres are lying together between Queen Street and Mr. Andrew 
Buchanan's lands, running straight north to the rising grounds, and will admit 
of laying out an elegant square or street thereon. The entry from Argyll 
Street thereto by Bailie King's, now Bailie Buchanan's, Close. — Apply to 
John Kennedy, the proprietor." 

These lands now form part of Buchanan Street on the west. 

Glasgow Journal, 3d April 1777. — " A street to be opened directly 
opposite to St. Enoch's Square." 


" Andrew Buchanan, Esq, merchant, proposes to enlarge his entry in 
Argyll Street, opposite to St. Enoch's Square, to 40 feet, free of every incum- 
berance, such as stairs, or other projections. This entry will lead into a street 
running to the northward, opening equally on each side, so as to make a 
street of 70 feet in breadth. The ground abounds in fine pit water in digging 
I o or 12 feet. Access also may be had at small expense to good running 
water, (viz., St. Enoch's Burn). It is proposed that purchasers should subject 
themselves to some regulations for the ornament of the street. For sight of 
the ground and plan of the street, please apply to the proprietor." 

The above notice accounts for the narrow entrance to 
Buchanan Street from Argyll Street, which at the time in question 
was a narrow close. 

Glasgow Journal^ loth October 1776. — "To be sold, by private bargain, 
that large kiln and brewery lying on the north side of Argyll Street, next to 
St. Enoch's Burn. It will make a fine steading of houses, being 84 feet in 
front. — Apply to Alexander Gordon, the proprietor." {N.B. — Now part of 
Stewart and M 'Donald's warehouse.) 

Glasgow Journal, 28th May 1759. — " The mansion house at Hyde Park, 
near Anderston, lately built, and consisting of eight fine rooms, kitchen, and 
closets, with cellars, offices, houses, barn, a large beautiful garden, with great 
variety of thriving fruit trees of the best kinds, with the ground above the said 
house, and park immediately below, and on the south side of the garden and 
water side, grass of the exact breadth of the said park, all consisting of eight 
acres of land or thereby ; as also the tann yard, lofts, cellars, several convenient 
dwelling houses, barn, miln, pump well, which is provided with good water, 
and ground below, or on the south side of tann house, and underside grass of 
the precise breadth of the last grounds, consisting of about four acres of land, 
are jointly, or in two separate lots, to be sold by public roup, on the 13th 
June, 1759. — Apply to John Wardrop, writer in Glasgow." 

Journal, ist August 1757. — "To be let, or sold, by way of public roup, 
on the first Wednesday of September next, within the house of Andrew 
Armour, Vintner in Glasgow, The whole houses and utensils belonging to St. 
Enoch's Factory at Grahamstone, consisting of a large dwelling house, with 
office houses, and working shops, A large garden, stables, and houses, 
and working shops, a large garden, stables and other conveniences, with a 
pump well in the court ; large entry from the street ; the working shops, 
looms, and utensils, to be entered into at Martinmas next, and the dwelling 
house and garden, at Whitsunday thereafter. — Apply to Ale.xander Gordon, the 

Mercury, 17th August 1780. — "To be Sold, or let, as may be agreed 
upon, that large and commodious brewerie, at Grahamstone, which consists of 
steeps, maltbarn, kiln, loft, cellars, vaults, &c., sufficient for carrying on an 
extensive business in brewing strong ale, small beer, two penny, and whisky, 


with proper utensils for the same, and at a small expense, may likewise be 
rendered fit for making porter. Also, a good dwelling house contained in the 
same square; together with servants' houses, stable, hay loft, &c., with a 
large garden behind the brewerie, and an excellent well in the close, remarkable 
good water for brewing. Free of Multure to the town of Glasgow, and all 
other public burthens whatever, excepting a feu of seven pounds sterling, to 
Mr. Graham of Dougalston. 

*' For particulars, apply to Sir John Stewart of Castlemilk, by a letter put 
into the post house at Glasgow." 

{N.B. — Grahamstone was named for John Graham of Dougal- 
ston, who died in 1749. Scots Magazine, i ith September 1749. 
— " Died at his country seat, John Graham of Dougalston, 

Mercury, 19th October 1780. — "To be exposed to sale by public roup, 
&c., the following subjects belonging to the trustees, for the creditors of 
Messrs. Buchanan, Hastie, and Co., merchants in Glasgow, and the partners 
of that company. 

" 1st, That shop lying on the West side of the High Street above the 
Cross of Glasgow, and at present possessed by Walter Graham. 

*' 2d, One third part, pro indiviso, of the ground storey of the eastmost of 
two tenements, built by John Robertson, Wright in Glasgow, on the North 
side of Argyll Street, as the said ground storey is possessed by Messrs. William 
Cuninghame and Company, and William Rose, Grocer — (corner of Virginia 
Street). ' 

*« 3d, One-half, pro indiviso, of the Westmost of the foresaid tenements as 
possessed by Mrs, M'Lae (widow of WiUiam M'Lae of Cathkin), and Mrs. 
Henderson, (mother of Richard Henderson, Town-clerk). 

** Also, an acre and a half, or thereby, of ground, lying in Blythswood 
Holm, to the West of Buchanan Street, as possessed by James Young, &c." 

Mercury, 7th October 1788. — " To be sold, by auction, on the 4th Novem- 
ber, that large and substantial range of grain lofts built about eighteen months 
ago, on the stance of the old theatre at Grahamstone, without the territory of 
the burgh of Glasgow. 

" These premises consist of three lofts or storeys, besides garrets, and are 
divided towards the centre by a thick stone partition, whereby each division 
has a distinct front entry. Each of the lofts on the north division, are forty 
feet square within the walls, and the upper one or garret is forty by thirty-six. 
The lofts again on the southmost division measure each forty by thirty-six, and 
the upper one forty by thirty-three feet, and adjoining to this last division 
there is a convenient writing office, consisting of two well-lighted apartments, 
each of which has a vent or fire-place. 

" The granary is capable of containing with the greatest safety near 3000 
bolls of grain, and from its particular situation has the privilege of exemption 


from the Town's Custom, or duty of Ladle on importation, which is very con- 

"Also, a tack whereof (y'j years are to run, after next Whitsunday, of 
ground, called Bankhead, delightfully situated on the water of Kelvin, near 
Clayslap. The proprietor, a few years ago, erected a large house on this 
property. — Apply to James Mathie, writer." 

Journal, 23d May 1782. — "To be sold, by public roup, on the 4th of 
June next, that field at present occupied as garden ground, but well situated 
for building, consisting of three acres and a half, or thereby, within the terri- 
tory of Glasgow, adjacent to and east of the Delft-field ground, on the South 
side of the street leading to Dumbarton." 

Mercury, 8th May 1783. — "To be sold, by public roup, on the 21st May, 
the lands of Enoch Bank, Mansion House, offices and garden, lying within 
ten minutes' walk of the Cross of Glasgow. The house consists of 1 3 fire 
rooms, with light and dark closets. In the kitchen there is a remarkably fine 
well, the water greatly superior to any in the neighbourhood. There is a 
stable neatly fitted up, byre, laundry, Gardener's room, and washing house, com- 
pletely finished ; Chaise house ; house for poultry, and several other necessary 
conveniences, A little Dovecot, stocked. The garden consists of near an acre 
of ground, well enclosed, and having a brick wall on the west and east sides, 
the walls covered with fruit trees of the very best kinds, all in flourish, and in 
the most complete order. The garden and walls contain 103 fruit trees, 
besides a great number of gean and plum trees planted in the pleasure grounds, 
to which there is a canal well stocked with fish, the banks of which are 
covered with an hundred different kinds of shrubs. The park to the north of 
the house ^ is enclosed with double hedging, and verges of various kinds of 
wood. The garden is sown with all kinds of vegetables for a family, and the 
whole may be entered on the day of sale. — Apply to James Hill, writer." 

Mercury, 6th January 1789. — "Lands and a Printfield for Sale. — To be 
sold, by public roup, on the 4th of February next, &c., all and whole the lands 
of that hill called Gilmourshill, being a part of the thirty-three shilling fourpenny 
land of old extent, lying on the east side of the village of Partick, in the parish 
of Govan and sherififdom of Lanark. These lands consist of about thirty acres, 
and are within a mile and one half of the town of Glasgow, and are all in- 
closed and sub-divided into six inclosures, with thriving hedges, belts of 
planting, and a stone dike. The situation is most delightful, and commands 
a most extensive and pleasant prospect. — A very eligible situation for setting 
down a house, the avenues to which are already formed, and the planting on 
each side thereof in great forwardness. The water of Kelvin runs alongside 
of the lands on the east and south, and from near the summit of the hill a long 
stretch of the river of Clyde to the west is in view, and also the towns of 
Glasgow and Paisley and country adjacent. About 24 acres of the land are 
at present in labour, the tack whereof, which was for 19 years, expires at 

1 {N'.B. — The park above mentioned was bounded on the north by the present 
Sauchiehall Road.) 


Martinmas, 1791, and the remaining part of the lands, which consists of near 
seven acres, is occupied as a printfield, and whereon there are every necessary 
and convenient house for carrying on that business to great extent, besides 
several dwelling houses, the tack whereof, which was also for 1 9 years, expires 
at Martinmas, 1789, and from the houses and yards at Candlemas and first of 
May, 1790. The lands are full of coal, and which can be wrought at an easy 
and cheap rate. — Apply to Benjamin Barton, commissary clerk of Glasgow," 

Journal, 5th June 1758. — "To be sold, The lands and estate of North- 
woodside, with the Barley mill, lying within two miles of Glasgow, and all 
well inclosed, with stone dykes and hedges ; upon which lands there :=; a very 
convenient dwelling house and proper office houses, pleasantly situate upon 
the water of Kelvin ; and there is also upon the said lands a considerable 
number of trees of different kinds, regularly planted, besides a wood which 
sells every nineteen years at two thousand merks and upwards. The pur- 
chaser's entry to the lands may commence at Martinmas next, and to the 
houses at Whitsunday thereafter. — Apply to Hugh Stuart, the proprietor ; or 
Alexander Stevenson, commissary clerk of Glasgow." 

Journal, 17th January 1765. — "Notice, That John Gibson of Hillhead, 
having sett in tack to James Gibson, late deacon of the weavers in Glasgow, 
and his assigns, for the space of 55 years from Martinmas, 1759, for three 
pounds sterling of yearly rent, a piece of his ground, consisting of about one 
acre, lying on the side of the water of Kelvin, near opposite to Woodside- 
muir, which has since been made a good bleaching field, and commodious 
dwelling house, work house, and boiling house, built by the said James Gibson 
thereon. The benefit of the said field, houses, and tack thereof, for the whole 
years thereof yet to run hereafter, to be sold by public roup, within the dwelling 
house of William Muir, vintner, opposite to the Tron Church of Glasgow, upon 
Thursday, the 31st day of January, 1765, betwixt the hours of 12 and 2 mid- 
day. Any person wanting to make a private bargain about the aforesaid 
subject, may apply to William Marshall or Robert M'Lintock, senior, mer- 
chants in Glasgow, trustees for James Gibson's creditors." 

Glasgow Journal, 26th June 1777. — "For sale, by public roup, within 
the Exchange Coffee House, in Glasgow, on Thursday the 7th day of August 
next, to begin precisely at 12 o'clock, and to continue till all is sold of, 

" The lands of Overnewton, adjoining the village of Clayslap, with Sundiy 
acres in Kelvinhaugh, the property of Messrs. Barclay and Bogle, acquired 
from the late William Cathcart, and others, consisting of about sixty acres of 
land, in the near neighbourhood of Glasgow, and beautifully situated upon the 
rivers Clyde and Kelvin. The lands will be sold together, or in parcels, as 
may best suit purchasers. If in parcels, the following lots are proposed : — 

I. The houses and yards at Clayslap, and grass plot before the door, 

about two acres in all, 
n. The park of Blackfauld, adjoining thereto, as now set off and inclosed, 

about eight acres. 
III. The Phoenix Park, lately set off and inclosed, about ten acres. 


IV. The Yorkhill Park, about twenty-two acres. 
V. The west division of Kelvinhaugh, about nine acres. 
VI. The east division of ditto, about nine acres. 

" These may be also joined, if desired, and the several lots proposed will 
be further varied at or before the roup, so as to fit the views and convenience 
of purchasers. For further particulars, apply to the proprietors ; or to Maxwell 
and Graham, writers, &c." 


Kelvinbank in 1781, and Kelvingrove in 1790 — Coal Quay at Windmillcroft — First 
Railway in Glasgow — The Windmill in 1780, and Salmon Fishing — Deepening 
and embanking the Clyde in 1780 — Patrick Reid, possessor by "Wadset" of 
Washington Street — Henry Monteith's attempted purchase of Washington Street 
for Clyde Trust in 1 814— Washington Street, whence named. 

The following notices, relating to the lands of Kelvinbank, now 
the property of the Trades' House, and Kelvingrove, now the 
West End Park, may prove interesting. 

Glasgow Mercury^ 22d February 1781. — " Notice. — To be sold, by private 
sale, the lands of Kelvinbank, consisting of about twelve acres of ground, 
lying between Anderston and Partick, in the Barony parish of Glasgow. The 
lands are pleasantly situated, and are within one mile and a half of Glasgow. 
They command an agreeable prospect ; are properly inclosed and subdivided 
by ditch and hedge in fine order ; and there is plenty of free stone quarry in 
the lands which can easily be wrought. The house, offices, and garden on 
the lands are in good order ; supplied with water from a spring well, the 
water excellent and quantity large. There are also a washing house and 
washing field on the lands adjoining the water of Kelvin. — Apply to Archibald 
Govan, writer, &c." 

Kelvinbank was purchased about 1792 by John Wilson jun.. 
Town -Clerk, for ;^iooo, and was sold to the Trades' House of 
Glasgow by Dr. W. Rae Wilson, the nephew of Mr. Wilson. 
George Crawfurd, Esq., in his interesting sketch of the Trades' 
House of Glasgow, page 207, informs us that, on the 4th of 
April 1846, the said Incorporation purchased the lands of Kelvin- 
bank, "stated as containing 70,588 square yards of unchequed 
measurement, into the centre of the river Kelvin, at ;^i 9,640 3s. 
9d." Also, " the adjoining part of the lands of Sandyford, said 



to contain 18,531 square yards of unchequed and uninvestigated 
measurement, at ;^ 10,2 50." 

Glasgow Mercury, 12th January 1790. — "Sale of land in Lanarkshire. — 
To be sold, by auction, in the Tontine Tavern, on Wednesday, 27th January, 
1790, between the hours of two and three o'clock afternoon. 

*' The villa and lands of Kelvingrove, beautifully situated upon the banks 
of the river Kelvin, and perfectly retired, although within one mile of the city 
of Glasgow. 

" The house, which overlooks the river, is built upon a very comfortable 
plan, containing a dining room, drawing room, eight bed rooms, two lumber 
rooms, a kitchen, larder, and three cellars under ground. The offices consist 
of a stable, with stalls for four horses, a cow house, milk house, chaise and 
cart house, a hay loft, pigeon house, poultry houses, all in the most complete 
order. There are also a pump-well in the yard, a convenient wash house 
with a pipe from the river, and a large and commodious cold bath. The 
garden (which, as well as the offices, is hid from the dwelling house by trees 
and shrubbery) is well stocked with fruit trees and small fruit, and is sur- 
rounded by a brick wall, part of which has flues, and the whole of it is at 
present covered on both sides with a great variety of fruit trees of the best 
kinds. There is also upon the ground a great variety of flowering shrubs, 
and a considerable quantity of barren timber, part old, and part lately planted, 
all in the most thriving condition, and the whole disposed in such a manner 
as to greatly add to the beauty of the place. 

" The lands of Kelvingrove consist of about sixteen English acres : the 
public burdens are very moderate, and no claim can be made by the superior 
in consequence of the property being transferred. 

" Also, to be sold, the benefit of a long lease of the farm of Woodside, 
consisting of about seventeen acres, which lie adjacent to the lands of Kelvin- 
grove. The lands of Kelvingrove and the grounds under lease for near 
half-a-mile are bounded by the river Kelvin, and being surrounded on all 
hands by beautiful landscapes, form such a situation as is rarely to be met 

"Apply to William Blair, W.S., Edinburgh; or John Maxwell, of Dar- 
gavel, writer, Glasgow, &:c." 

Glasgow Mercury, 27th May 1784. — "To be sold, that square piece of 
ground, being the east side of Kelvinhaugh, consisting of twelve Scots acres 
or thereby, inclosed by a bank on the east side and hedge on the west. 
— Apply to Robert M'Lintock." 

GlaSi;ow Mercury, ist May 1792. — "The Provost-Haugh, about 24 acres, 
has been purchased at private sale for no less than four thousand pounds. 
This added to the other pleasure ground along the river belonging to the city, 
is a valuable acquisition. The philanthropic Mr. Howard, when surveying 
this tract of ground, declared it to be of inestimable value for preserving the 
health of the inhabitants. 

•'An acre of ground down the river, where the Coal Key stood, and 


bounded by the Kinning House burn, was sold by public roup for ^350 
sterling. It was let for five pounds yearly for sixteen years past." 

I remember the Coal Quay, which stood at the present ferry, 
west end of Windmillcroft. It was built by the Dumbarton 
Glasswork Company to convey coals from the lands of Little 
Govan to their works at Dumbarton. The river was then deeper 
at the Coal Quay than at Broomielaw. There was a timber 
tramway from the Little Govan Coalworks to the said quay, 
which ran through the lands of Kingston, and by the road on the 
east side of Springfield. I have walked upon this tramroad, 
which I believe was the first of our Glasgow railways. The 
Dumbarton Glasswork Company also possessed a tramroad on 
the north side of the Clyde, from the coalworks in the neighbour- 
hood of Gartnavel ; but I do not recollect the exact place in the 
river where the coals were shipped. 

The footpath along the south bank of the river from the 
bridge westward crossed the south end of the Coal Quay, and 
when the traveller came to the Kinninghouse Burn he was 
obliged to find his way over it by a narrow wooden plank, with- 
out any protective railing. I have often crossed the Kinning- 
house Burn by this primitive bridge. 

At this time there was a small wood on the lands of Wind- 
millcroft, within a hedge on the south of the footpath which ran 
along the banks of the river. This wood stood nearly on the 
place now occupied as the north extremity of West Street. 

When a little boy I went afishing one Saturday with some of 
my companions in the river between the Kinninghouse Burn 
and the Mile Burn (at the west end of the General Terminus). 

Among my associates was Archibald M'Guffie of Greenock 
(afterwards agent for the Bank of Scotland there). 

We had all duly set our fishing lines in the river, and were 
waiting for a short time to give the fish time to swallow our 
baits, when Archie M'Guffie said that he would not draw his lines 
till the gabbert which appeared at the Broomielaw (coming right 
down the river with a large square sail and fair wind) had passed 
his lines. We laughed at Archie's speech, but for the fun of the 
thing said nothing ; so we all proceeded to draw our lines, while 


Archie had his eyes always directed towards the gabbert, which 
appeared coming down the river at full sail with a fair wind and 
ebb tide, yet nevertheless did not seem to move out of the spot. 
Archie now got tired of waiting for the arrival of the gabbert, 
and so began to draw his lines, when all of us in great glee 
informed him that the gabbert he was so long looking for was 
just the windmill near the bridge, which, seen from the lands of 
the now General Terminus, certainly had quite the appearance of a 
gabbert in full sail. 

The site where the windmill stood is now near the centre of 
the river, a little below the bridge. At this time the windmill 
was without a roof, and its ground floor subjected to all manner 
of nuisances, so that a visit to it was rather trying to those who 
had delicate olfactory nerves. On this piscatory excursion our 
fishing was pretty successful, as each of us had caught a number 
of flounders and a few eels, but the great prize came to me of a 
very fine large salmon fry. I was delighted at my good luck, 
but in great terror, lest the Sheriff, who lived close at hand, in 
Park House, or some of the tacksmen of the Salmon Fishery 
should get hold of me, and clap me up in prison for destroying 
salmon fry, the Sheriff having just issued the following notice : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 27th April 1780. — "By the Sherifif of Lanarkshire. — 
Whereas, notwithstanding the pubHc promonitions that have been given, and 
the pubHc examples which have been made, the illegal practice of killing 
salmon fry still prevails in this country, to the great prejudice of the salmon 
fishing, a reward of Half a Guinea is hereby offered for each information upon 
that head left at the Sheriff Clerk's office in Glasgow, mentioning the names 
and designations of the offenders and the names and designations of the wit- 
nesses by whom the offences can be proved, to be paid by the Sheriff Clerk 
upon their conviction. The names of the informers shall be carefully 

Having this notice in view, I carefully hid my salmon fry 
under the hedge at Greenlaw till our departure, when I ventured 
to carry it home, in tribulation, but rejoicing. 

The salmon fishing on this part of the Clyde was then of some, 
value, for in fourteen years afterwards it appears to have been let 
for ;^I04 per annum. 


Glasgow Mercury, 2 1st January 1794. — "A few days ago the salmon 
fishing in the river Clyde, belonging to certain proprietors of the parish of 
Govan, was let for three years at ^104 per annum." 

The fishermen erected a hut on Greenlaw lands, near the 
Mile Burn. It was built of wattles and turf. I have often seen 
gentlemen there purchasing on speculation for is. or is. 6d the 
draught of a fisherman's net, but in general the speculators only 
got a few small flounders. I had a strong suspicion that on these 
occasions, when the fishermen felt by handling their nets that they 
had a salmon enclosed in them, they purposely allowed the salmon 
to escape, in the hopes of securing it to themselves in the next 
cast of the nets. As the saying goes, there are tricks in all 

It was fortunate for Glasgow that the salmon fishing on the 
River Clyde was not of very great value ; for if it had been as 
lucrative to the proprietors of the lands on its banks as that of the 
Tay and some other rivers on the east coast, the Magistrates of 
Glasgow would have met with very strong opposition to all their 
Navigation Bills. It is curious that none of the proprietors of the 
lands on the banks of the River Clyde have ever made application 
to the Clyde Trust or to the Glasgow Magistrates for indemnifica- 
tion for the loss of the salmon fishery, occasioned by the operations 
of deepening and embanking the navigation. 

In 1759 an Act of Parliament was obtained for rendering the 
River Clyde navigable to Glasgow for large vessels, by means of 
locks ; and from the following advertisement it will be seen that 
the Magistrates of Glasgow were the first who set the example of 
gaining ground from the river by means of placing stobs on its 
margin, and then filling the space so stobbed in with furze and 

Glasgow Journal, 26th April 1764. — "Any person who is willing to 
undertake for the delivery of a considerable quantity of new hoed whins, to be 
laid down on each side of the river Clyde below the Broomielaw, may apply 
to Robert Finlay, master of work. And any person who can provide a large 
quantity of stobs, six feet and a half long, may also apply as above." 

The proprietors of the lands on the banks of the river were 
not long in discovering that they would derive more benefit from 


the channel of the river being narrowed, than from the salmon 
fishery, as the ground gained to them by the navigation operations 
came to be added to their lands facing the river, and this done 
without their bearing any share of the expense. 

I remember many of the proprietors of lands next the river 
filling up the vacancies between the jetties with the cuttings of 
hedges and all kinds of rubbish, so as to form firm land by the 
deposits of floods. Mr. David Todd at Springfield, and Mr. 
Francis Reid at Greenlaw, each gained above an acre of river-side 
ground by such operations, which ground came afterwards to be 
purchased back by the River Trustees at £2 : 2s. per square yard 
or thereby. 

In 1780 the Pointhouse and Ferry appear to have been 
private property. 

Glasgow Mercury, 9th March 1780. — "To be sold, privately, the Point- 
house, with the ferry and boats, and some lands adjoining the same. — Apply 
to William Robertson, at Smithfield. 22d November 1781. — To be sold, 
jointly, or separately, the Smithfield houses and lands on the Broomielaw Croft, 
near the Key of Glasgow, with the lands and houses at Point House, and the 
slitting, rolling, and grinding mills and houses on Kelvin, with smith's tools 
and materials. Progress of writs and inventories of the whole to be seen in 
the hands of William Robertson, Smithfield." 

The above Smithfield property not being sold at the time, 
was again advertised for sale on 15th February 1786, at the upset 
price of ;^2 200, there being a street sixty feet wide delineated on 
the plan. 

'^Glasgow Mercury, 29th December 1786. — "To be sold, the lands of 
Greenlaw, with the salmon fishing effeiring thereto. The lands of Greenlaw 
consist of fifteen acres or thereby, very rich arable ground, delightfully situated 
upon the river Clyde, and roads leading to Paisley and Greenock, well inclosed 
and sub-divided, lying opposite to Lancefield, within one mile of Glasgow. — 
Apply to Alexander M'Culloch, writer in Glasgow." 

Greenlaw was purchased by Francis Reid, Esq., for ;^iooo, 
and was sold by the trustees of his widow for ;!^38oo. About 
three acres, lying between the Greenock and Paisley roads, were 
sold by Mr. Reid's widow to Mr. Mair of the Plantation, for ^300, 
and the remainder now forms the General Terminus. 



Mercury, 31st January 1787, — " To be sold, the house and lands of Mavis 
Bank, about one mile west of the new bridge. The lands consist of about 
six acres, of excellent quality, and divided into several small enclosures. — 
Apply to George Smith, writer." 

Mercury, 23d May 1787. — "To be sold, the Bottle House and other 
buildings, at Verreville, together with the ground adjoining it, consisting of 
about three acres. — Apply to John Geddes." 

Mercury, 25th July 1787. — "To be sold, six roods of land, or thereby, 
in the Broomielaw Croft of Glasgow, whereof three roods lie from east to 
west upon Clyde, and the other three roods run from south to north, and lie 
upon the south- side of the road leading to Anderston. — Apply to Gilbert 

Mercury, ist December 1789. — " To be sold, feued, or let, that bleachfield 
called Brownfield, near to the Broomielaw. As the field is an extensive square 
piece of ground, containing more than ten acres, and runs from Anderston 
road to the Clyde, few places are so well adapted for the purpose of building 
squares or streets upon. — Apply to Brown, Carrick, and Company." 

Mercury, 1st December 1789. — "Lands to be let. — The committee ap- 
pointed by the Magistrates and Town Council of Glasgow, for setting those 
parts of the barony of Gorbals, which now belongs to the City, do hereby 
intimate that they will set, for one year, from and after Martinmas last, 1789, 
the sundry plots of ground, as after mentioned, viz. — 


Part of Windmill Croft . . .13 

Waterside, west of the Coal Quay . . i 

Part of Trades' Croft and Croft Andrew . 1 9 









34 3 3 

"The above lands are situate upon the side of the river Clyde, a little 
below the windmill. 




Gushet Fauld 




Bryce Land 



Gallow Know 



Bryce Land 




Coply Hill Park . 




Coply Hill . 




Seeve-wright and Cameron's 

Eye . 






"The last- mentioned lands are situate south from the Gorbals, upon 
each side of the road, leading from thence to Pollokshaws. — Apply to Bailie 
M'Lehose, Mr. John Lowrie, or the Master of Work." 

Mercury, ist December 1789. — "Lands in Gorbals to be let. — The 
Trades' House of Glasgow, and the Incorporations of Hammermen, Tailors, 


Cordiners, Maltmen, Weavers, Flashers, Bakers, Skinners, Wrights, Coopers, 
and Masons, who are proprietors of a fourth-part of the lands and barony of 
Gorbals, having appointed a delegate from each body to act as a general 
committee in the management of the fourt-part of the barony, which has been 
awarded to them by the Arbiters in the submission with the magistrates and 
council and the patrons of Hutchesons' Hospital, the proprietors of the residue 
of the barony : the committee do now intimate that they are willing to give a 
set of their fourth-part of the lands, either in whole or in parcels, and for one 
year or a longer term, — Apply to Mr. John M 'Asian, convener ; or to James 
Mathie, writer." 

Merctiry, 6th April 1790. — "Gorbals ground, belonging to Hutchesons' 
Hospital, to be feued. That large inclosure on the south-west of Gorbals, 
called Stirling Fold and Well Croft, measuring 29 acres, 3 roods, 23 falls, and 
that strip of ground opposite to the road leading to the new bridge, and of the 
same breadth with that road, measuring 3 roods, and 8 falls. The upset yearly 
feu-duty of the said Grounds is to be ^257 i6s 6d, or eight guineas per acre. 
The coal and minerals are to be reserved to the proprietors. — Apply to James 
Hill, writer in Glasgow." 

Mercury, nth September 1792. — "Building ground in Gorbals Barony, 
(Tradeston). To be sold, a great variety of Steadings belonging to the Trades' 
House and Incorporations, partly fronting the public road leading to Paisley, 
at the west end of the Toll Bar, and in other respects fronting public streets 
sixty feet wide in parallel lines with the streets of the town, which is going on 
briskly at the end of the new bridge. The price to be converted into a feu- 
duty. — Apply to convener M'Lehose, or J. T. Mathie, writer." 

The town of Tradeston was laid off by John Gardner sen., 

Mr. Crawfurd, in his sketch of the Trades' House (page 186), 
thus writes : — 

" The price originally paid by the Trades' House and Incorporations, for 
the Gorbals Lands, as their one-fourth share of the whole price paid to Sir 
Robert Douglas, in 1660, was thirty-one thousand merks, equal to ^^1743 13s 

"The Trades' House and Incorporations received ^1692 12s 6d from the 
proprietors of the Glasgow, Paisley, and Ardrossan Canal, in 18 14, for 2 acres, 
I rood, and 36 falls of the lands taken for the purpose of making the canal, 
and ^732 los further, in 1823, for 3257 square yards taken for increasing 
the company's accommodation. For those sums the Trades' House and Incor- 
porations took payment in shares of the stock of the Canal Company, and 
those shares are now worthless through the total failure of that enterprise. In 
1829, however, the Trades' House and Incorporations received ^10,000 from 
the trustees for improving the navigation of the Clyde, for the ground which 
lay between Clyde Street on the south, the river on the north, the bridge on 


the east, and West Street on the west. This ground is now chiefly excavated 
for the Harbour of Glasgow, and is partly occupied by the south wharf. 

« In 1831 the steadings which had been feued yielded feu-duties to the 
amount of ^1769 us gd, the highest price obtained having been 3s 6d a 
square yard. Between 183 1 and 1856 the whole of unfeued ground was 
feued, the last feus effected being los. The lowest price taken during this 
period being 8s, and the highest obtained 25s a square yard. These amounted 
to ;i{^64,i27 IS 8d, converted into feu-duties amounting to ^3206 7s id. These 
feu-duties, added to the amount payable in 1831, makes £4975 i^s lod of 
feu-duties now payable. Every yard of the 78 acres, 3 roods, and 14 falls, 
conveyed to the Trades' House, as their one-fourth part, is now sold or feued. 
The purchase and the fortunate management of these lands are the chief 
source of the wealth of the Trades' House and Incorporations." 

The following account relative to the lands now of Washington 
Street is taken from a private MS. in my possession : — Patrick 
Reid, maltman in Glasgow, in early life had lent a few hundred 
merks to the proprietor of the lands which now form Washington 
Street, upon the terms of Wadset, by which the lands are absolutely 
disponed to and enjoyed by the lender, and the borrower pays no 
interest upon the loan ; liberty of redemption, however, is reserved 
to the borrower within a certain time agreed upon, but which time, 
if allowed to elapse without repayment of the loan, the lands 
become the absolute and irredeemable property of the lender. 

Under the provisions of the said contract of Wadset, Patrick 
Reid continued to enjoy the use and usufruct of the said lands of 
Washington Street, till the term of redemption agreed upon had 
passed over without payment of the loan, consequently the said 
lands became irredeemably invested in Patrick Reid as absolute 
proprietor of the same. Patrick Reid was succeeded by his eldest 
son John, who, dying intestate, was succeeded by his uncle, Matthew 
Reid, merchant in Leicester, as heir at law to the said lands of 
Washington Street, and he dying, bequeathed by his will his estates, 
heritable and movable, to his wife, Mary Aitcheson, as his universal 

In the meantime a granddaughter of the original proprietor 
of the lands of Washington Street having married a writer in 
Edinburgh, that gentleman conceived that there was a flaw in the 
deed of Wadset, and that Patrick Reid had not taken the usual 
legal steps to invest himself in the said lands at the expiration of 



the term of redemption ; consequently that the property in question 
was still redeemable upon payment of the original loan by Wadset, 
Accordingly, he made a judicial offer of repayment of the loan, 
and demanded a re-conveyance of the lands of Washington Street. 
This demand, of course, brought on a lawsuit before the Court 
of Session, which, having been litigated there for upwards of 
eighteen years, Mrs. Matthew Reid, the defender, became so 
disgusted with the delay of the proceedings, and harassed in her 
mind by the various technical objections brought forward against 
the validity of the Wadset, that she offered to make over her 
rights, in the subjects in question, to her eldest son Matthew, 
merchant in Leicester, if he would relieve her of the lawsuit. 
Her son accepted his mother's offer, and immediately thereafter 
set on foot an arrangement for a compromise with the Edinburgh 
writer, which he fortunately accomplished by the payment to him 
of ;^iooo sterling, thereby becoming the unquestionable proprietor 
of the lands of Washington Street. On the death of Matthew 
Reid jun. (the son) intestate, the lands of Washington Street fell 
by inheritance to his brother. Dr. John Reid, physician in London, 
who not long after dying without issue, his sister Mary succeeded 
to the said lands. This Miss Mary Reid being on very intimate 
terms with her cousin. Miss Aitcheson, the two young ladies 
entered into a mutual contract, by which the longest liver of them 
was to inherit the estates of the one who should first die. Accord- 
ingly, on the death of Miss Aitcheson, Miss Reid succeeded to 
that lady's fortune, which was pretty considerable. Miss Mary 
Reid was a literary lady, and was spoken of as a blue stocking in 
my early days. She was a keen politician, of the Foxite school, 
and, accordingly, employed Robert Grahame, Esq., writer, as her 
Glasgow agent, that gentleman's political opinions being in unison 
with her own. Mr. Grahame took the entire management of the 
Washington Street property, for behoof of Miss Reid, who then 
resided in Leicester. About the year 1 8 14, when Henry Monteith 
was Lord Provost of Glasgow, the River Trustees, having thought 
of excavating docks at the Broomielaw, to accommodate the increas- 
ing shipping of the harbour, authorised Mr. Monteith to treat with 
Mr. Grahame for the purchase of the said lands of Washington 


Street, then vacant ground. Mr. Monteith accordingly waited 
on Mr. Grahame, to know the price which Miss Reid would take 
for the said lands, fully expecting to acquire them at a very 
moderate price, seeing that they were waste grounds bringing in 
no return. In reply to Mr. Monteith's inquiry as to the price 
which Miss Reid would take for the said property, Mr. Grahame 
at once said that the very lowest price would be ^10,000. Mr. 
Monteith, who, in his younger days, had remembered the trifling 
value of ground in the immediate neighbourhood of Anderston, 
at the mention of ;^ 10,000 held up his two hands in amazement, 
at what he considered its absolute absurdity, exclaiming that the 
price demanded was so utterly extravagant and ridiculous that it 
was quite unnecessary to say a word more on the subject, and so 
forthwith left Mr. Grahame's office. Provost Monteith reported 
so strongly against the whole project that the River Trustees 
hesitated about making any further attempt to acquire Miss Reid's 
lands ; but about a year afterwards, the said Trustees having again 
taken the matter into their consideration, came to be of opinion 
that the lands in question, being so favourably situated for a dock, 
should be purchased by the Trust, notwithstanding of the price 
being likely to be rather extravagant ; they therefore again 
requested Mr. Monteith to wait on Mr. Grahame with an offer of 
i^Sooo for the said lands. When Mr. Monteith again waited on 
Mr. Grahame he commenced his address to him by saying that the 
River Trustees, contrary to his opinion, had now agreed to make 
Miss Reid an offer of i^Sooo for the Washington Street lands, and he 
added that he was confident that no such offer would ever again 
be made for these vacant grounds. But Mr. Grahame, in reply to 
this offer, repeated what he had before said, that the very lowest 
price would be ^10,000. In consequence of this answer the 
treaty for the purchase of the lands in question was finally 
broken off, and thus the River Trustees lost a most convenient 
site for a dock, in the very heart of the harbour, and of the 
city, Mr. Grahame shortly afterwards laid off Washington 
Street for feuing, and ultimately the feus realised a price equal 
to ;^30,ooo. 

Miss Mary Reid, in accordance with her political principles. 


named the new street "Washington Street," in honour of the 
founder of American independence. 

Miss Mary Reid died on the 14th of August 1839, aged 
seventy, and was succeeded by her nephews and nieces, the Pearces 
of Leicester. 

By looking at Fleming's large map of Glasgow, published in 
1 81 5, it will be seen that the lands now of Washington Street 
then consisted of a large oblong piece of ground, stated to be the 
property of Matthew Reid. On the west it formed the western 
boundary of the city, lying between Clyde Street and M'Alpine 
Street. It stood north and south from Anderston Walk to the 
margin of the River Clyde — a glorious situation for a dock, which 
our city authorities unfortunately allowed to slip through their 


Cleland's Sketch of the Green — Improvements in the Green, 1638- 1664 — Fleshers' 
Haugh in 1 792 — The Green as it stood in 1816 — Coal under the Green, and 
proposal to work it in 1858 — Discussion in the City Council — Proposed Improve- 
ments in 1813 — Subsidence of the Green in 1754 — The Point Isle in 1760 — Dowcot 
Green Island — The Horse Ford — Battle of the Bell of the Brae. 

Dr. Cleland in his Annals, vol. ii. p. 457, has given us a more 
detailed statement of the history of the Green of Glasgow than 
our other Glasgow historians, and in particular has narrated the 
improvements made on it during the time that he held the 
municipal office of superintendent of public works. He says that 
although it is by no means certain at what period the Green became 
the property of the community, it is more than probable that it was 
included in the grant which James II. made to William Turnbull, 
bishop of Glasgow, on 20th April 1450. The original grant, 
whether it emanated from King James or any other having power 
to confer it, was of very small extent when compared with what 
the Green is at present, being wholly comprehended in what is 
now known by the name of the Laigh Green, bounded on the 
west by what was termed the Skinners' Green, now the site of the 
Gaol and public offices, on the north by the Molendinar Burn and 
Camlachie Burn, on the south by the River Clyde, and on the east 
by the lands of Kinclaith, at the west end of the High Green 
where the Washing-House is placed. It would appear that this 
gift was of very little use for a long period after it became the 
property of the community, as the principal part of the inhabitants 
resided at the upper part of the town ; and when in process of 
time they came gradually to reside in the lower part of the town. 


the Laigh Green lay so low as to be affected by every spring-tide, 
so that pools and islands were formed in it, which have only been 
removed since the year 1635. 

From the year 1638 till 1661, during the provostshlps of 
Patrick Bell of Cowcaddens, John Anderson of Dowhill, and John 
Campbell of Blythswood,^ the Laigh Green was greatly improved. 

In 1664, during the provostship of John Bell, the magistracy 
and council, in consideration of the great increase of inhabitants, 
and the want of a suitable park or green, resolved to purchase 
such parts of the lands of Kinclaith and Dafifiegreen, now called 
the High Green, as should from time to time he brought into 
the market. 2 Accordingly, in the course of thirty years, the 
Magistrates and Council had purchased, from a great number of 
individuals, the whole of the High Green, bounded on the west 
by the east end of the Laigh Green, on the north by the Reid- 
clothglott or Camlachie Burn, on the south partly by the River 
Clyde, and partly by Provost Haugh, and on the east by the 
boundary of the royalty, as it was anciently, and is now set off 
by landmarks. 

In the year 1686, immediately before the Revolution, and 
during the provostship of John Barnes, Esq., the Magistrates and 
Council resolved to purchase the run-riggs of Craignestock, now 
known by the name of the Calton Green. These purchases, 
which had been begun by Provost Barnes, were completed by 
Provost Anderson in 1699. 

The lands of Craignestock were bounded on the west by a 
road on the east of Merkdailly lands, now the continuation of St. 
Mungo's Lane, on the north by the loan leading to Rutherglen, 
on the south by the Reidcloth Burn, and on the east by other 
lands of Craignestock. 

In a few years after this purchase was completed, the Magis- 
trates and Council built a stone wall along the north boundary of 

1 Queiy. — Was it at this time that those three active provosts acquired among them- 
selves such large slices of our Great Western Common ? 

2 Was the High Green purchased for the community as a Bonne Bouche to stop 
complaints for the loss of so valuable a part of the Western Common, which had been 
previously so disposed of? 


the Green, commencing at Skinners' Green, and terminating at 
the east extremity. 

It does not appear that there was any other addition made to 
the Green till the year 1773, when the Magistrates and Council 
purchased upwards of 28 acres from Colin Rae, Esq., of Little 
Govan,^ and several smaller lots of the lands of Kinclaith from 
other persons, which have since continued to form a part of the 
Green at the east end ; and that the park might be as extensive 
and complete as the special localities would possibly permit, the 
Magistrates and Council, in 1792, puchased from the late Patrick 
Bell of Cowcaddens, the lineal descendant of the respectable 
provosts of that name, the lands of Provost Haugh, etc., or 
Fleshers' Haugh, so called from the pasturage being let out to 
certain members of that incorporation. 

The lands of Kinclaith being thus partially acquired at dif- 
ferent periods from a number of individuals who all exercised 
their own mode of improving their property, some by erecting 
small houses, others by letting out runnings for cropping, or for 
the purpose of trade, as might best suit their respective interest 
or views, it is not surprising that the surface was irregular, 
rendered more so, in consequence of the Camlachie Burn which 
separates the Calton from the High Green, lying considerably 
under the surface of either. The greater part of the trees in the 
Green were planted during the time that Robert Roger, John 
Aird, Peter Murdoch, Andrew Ayton, Archibald Ingram, and 
Arthur Connel held the office of Chief Magistrate. 

^ Glasgoiv Jow-nal, 28th November 1776. — "Notice, that these 11 acres, I rood, and 
12 falls of land, belonging to the city of Glasgow, lately acquired from Colin Rae, of Little 
Govan, lying beyond the head of the Green of Glasgow, and on the east side of the 
road belonging to Peter Bell, of the Cowcaddens, leading from his haugh on the north 
side of the river Clyde to the high road leading from the Green to "Wishart's House. 
As also the lands called vSt. Enoch's Croft, presently possessed by William Horn, 
Wright, belonging to the said city, are to be let in tack for the space of seven years, 
after Martinmas last, 1776, by public roup, within the Council Chambers, on the i6th 
curt. Also that part of St. Enoch's Croft, on the west side of Jamaica Street, now 
used as a timber yard, to be let in tack for seven years after Martinmas. 

" N.B. — The old dyke at the head of the Green is to be removed and re-built in the 
march of the town's ground, on the west side of the said Patrick Bell's foresaid road. 
The new dyke to be five quarters high, twenty inches thick at bottom, and ten inches 
thick at top, and to be coped with the cope stones on the said old dyke. Any person 
willing to contract for executing the above work may apply to the town-clerk of Glasgow." 


In 1730, during the time that Peter Murdoch was provost, 
the Public Washing -House was erected; a lead or watercourse 
was afterwards taken from the Camlachie Burn for driving the 
machinery, by which water was forced from the river into the 

In 1756 Provost George Murdoch commenced the formation 
of walks in the Green, which has been continued by several of his 
successors. The serpentine walks, which were formed with 
shrubbery, came to be so much abused by idle and dissolute 
persons that it became necessary to root out a considerable part 
of them.^ 

In 1777 the Arns Well or Reservoir was opened, during the 
provostship of Robert Donald, Esq, 

In the year 1 744, during the time that Andrew Cochran was 
provost, the Magistrates and Council would have sold a part of the 
Laigh Green, but for the general voice of the public being raised 
against it. 

In 1 8 1 the Gaol and public offices were erected on the west 
side of the continuation of Saltmarket Street, at the bottom of 
the Laigh Green, chiefly on the ground which was formerly the 

1 Glasgcnv Journal, isth March 1756. — "By order of the Magistrates. — The 
Magistrates having directed a further improvement to be made upon the Town's Park 
or new Green, by forming a walk and planting trees, do hereby give public notice, 
that in case any of these trees shall be cut, peeled, or any way destroyed, they are 
determined to take recourse upon the inhabitants of Calton as lying nearest to the new 
plantation, in terms of the Act after-mentioned : and they likewise offer a reward of five 
guineas to those who will discover the persons guilty of destroying the trees, fences, or 
walks, so as they can be brought to punishment, in terms of the Act passed in the first 
Parliament of King George the First." 

Mercury, 5th April 1756. — "Whereas, the City of Glasgow hath made new 
improvements upon their new Green, by making of walks and planting of young trees, 
and that the Magistrates hath advertised in the public papers that if any of these their 
new improvements be damaged any manner of way, that they are resolved to take 
recourse upon the inhabitants of the Calton for the same. Bailie Miller, in the Calton, 
does hereby give notice to the inhabitants of the Calton of Glasgow, and others, that 
they resolve to be so neighbourly to the City of Glasgow, as to be at al! due pains to be 
watchful of their interest to make discovery of any who shall damage the said walks, 
fencing, or planting ; and that he, with the concurrence of some of the principal 
inhabitants of Calton, will give two guineas, over and above what the Magistrates of Glasgow 
hath offered, to any who shall make such discoveries as they may bring the offenders to 
light. And likewise, that whereas upon the night between the 2d and 3d instant, one 
of the young trees was pulled up by the root by some malicious person, they promise to 
give one guinea over and above the ^^5 53 that the Magistrates hath offered, for the 
discovery for pulling up the said tree." 


Skinners' Green. The ground on the east side of the street, 
although authorised to be sold, still forms, and is intended to 
remain, a part of the Laigh Green. Before the stripe of ground 
in the Calton Green was brought into the market, the Magistrates, 
with concurrence of the trustees on the Muirkirk Road, effected 
a very important improvement in the formation of Great Hamilton 
Street, by widening the old road leading to Rutherglen from the 
stripe of ground authorised to be sold.-^ 

During the currency of the last twenty -five years the High 
Green has been increased nearly one-third. In 1791 there were 
houses and places of business on what is now the public Green, 
and walls bounding a cart road leading to Provost Haugh. In 
1806 the watercourse connected with the Washing- House was 
often so stagnant during the summer months as to become 
offensive to the citizens. The banks contiguous to Peat Bog 
were so rugged and wasted down by springs that they were not 
only offensive to the eye but completely useless. The Laigh 
Green lay so low, and was so irregular in its surface, that a slight 
swell on the river or a smart shower laid it under water, which 
had to be carried off to the Camlachie Burn by an open drain. 
The entries to the Laigh Green by the Saltmarket Street, Cow 
Lane, and the Old Bridge were so narrow, irregular, and dirty, 
from their vicinity to the Slaughter-House, that, with the excep- 
tion of the first, they were chiefly used by cattle and fleshers' 

The Molendinar and Camlachie Burns ran through the streets 
in an uncovered state, crossing the Skinners' Green and saw 
mill in an oblique direction. The Skinners' Green was insulated 
by the burn and Slaughter- House, and the bottom of the Laigh 
Green was surrounded by offensive pits, used by skinners and 
tanners. The Slaughter-House spread over a large and irregular 

1 This stripe of ground formed part of the public walks of the Green. It was enclosed 
on the north by a stone wall, and there was a double row of fine trees upon its whole 
extent. Its gravel walk joined the serpentine walks at the Camlachie Burn, over which 
there was a bridge. In my time it was a pubHc parade for the citizens. 

It is singular that Dr. Cleland makes no mention of the large portion of the Calton 
Green which the Magistrates of that time feued off to form Monteith Row ; but it must 
be remembered that the doctor himself, as superintendent of public works, had a large 
share in the act of thus curtailing our public park. He was bailie in 1806. 


surface on the bank of the river, and was bounded by crooked 
lanes on the north and north-east parts, than which there was no 
other entry to the Green from the west. 

The dung of the Slaughter- House and the intestines of 
slaughtered animals were collected in heaps, and allowed to 
remain for months together, till putrefaction took place, to the 
great annoyance of the neighbourhood. A gluework, and a 
work in which tharm was manufactured from the intestines of 
animals in a recent state, was erected at the bottom of the Laigh 
Green ; and to complete the nuisance, the adjoining houses were 
occupied for cleaning tripe ; and rees were fitted up for the retail 
of coal and coal-culm. The space on the bank of the river at the 
east side of the old bridge, which had been enclosed for a live 
cattle-market, came now to be used by the police as a receptacle 
for filth from the streets. The improvements on the Green and 
the adjoining properties were so far completed in 1814 that 
the following may be taken as a description of them since that 

The Green as it now stands (1866) contains upwards of 108 
acres. The circuit of the gravel walks has been completed, and 
the houses and intermediate walls on the High Green removed ; 
the watercourse connected with the Washing- House has been 
rendered unnecessary by a plentiful supply of water from the 
water companies. The banks adjoining Peat Bog have been 
drained and turfed, so as to render them at once useful and 
ornamental. The Laigh Green is in progress of improvement ; a 
street in connection with the gravel walks has been formed in 
front of the range of the intended Calton Green buildings, to be 
bounded on the side next the Green by a parapet wall and rail. 
The course of a considerable part of the Molendinar and Cam- 
lachie Burns from their junction has been completely altered and 
arched, and streets formed over it. A breastwork at the river 
supporting an iron railing has been built from the timber to the 
old bridge ; the entries to the Laigh Green by the Saltmarket 
and East Clyde Street are rendered spacious by the removal of 
houses and nuisances, and the thoroughfare has been greatly 
increased by the Market Lane. The lime and tan pits, saw mill, 


tharm work, tripe houses and coal-rees, at the Skinners' Green, 
have been removed, and the public offices and Gaol erected on or 
near their site; the spacious street, I20 feet, in front of the 
portico of the public offices, has been raised so as to protect it 
from the highest flood ; the side next the Green is to be bounded 
by a low parapet wall and railing. The Slaughter- Houses have 
been removed from the bank of the river, and East Clyde Street, 
eighty feet wide, formed on part of their site. These buildings 
which, under existing circumstances,^ could not possibly be 
removed to a greater distance from the river than where they 
are now placed, are perhaps the largest in the island for the 
purpose of slaughtering animals. These operations have cost 
Httle short of i^5 0,000. 

In 1858 the Magistrates and Council of Glasgow, having 
expended large sums in the purchase of the West End Park, the 
M'Lellan property, and South Side Park, found themselves short 
of cash ; it therefore occurred to a number of the Council that by 
sinking of shafts, and by working of coal in the Green, the funds 
necessary for clearing off the debt in question could easily be 
obtained. To this scheme very serious objections were made, 
such as, that it would destroy the walks of the Green as a parade, 
would create a public nuisance, and would seriously damage the 
land by causing a subsidence to take place on its surface; in short, 
that it would altogether destroy the amenity of the Green as a 
public place of recreation. 

At a meeting of the Town Council on the ist of April 1858, 
Mr. M'Dowall, councillor, made the following motion : — 

" That the Magistrates and Council should remit to the Committee on 
Finance to make the necessary arrangements for letting the coal in the Green 
by public roup." 

To this scheme, in any shape whatever, Councillor Moir most 
strenuously objected. He said, "I have not spoken to one working 

^ These circumstances were, that the Incorporation of Fleshers possessed certain 
rights and privileges, which they maintained were infringed by the Magistrates ; in 
consequence thereof a lawsuit took place before the Court of Session on the subject, 
when, after a long course of litigation, the Court decided against the I\Iagistrates, thereby 
establishing the claims of the Incorporation of Fleshers. 


man who would not willingly pay a tax of one penny per pound 
on his rental rather than have the Green so destroyed." Mr. 
Moir then gave the following excellent epitome of the history of 
the Green : — 

" I have looked at the different records and documents on the subject, and 
although the details of the origin of the park are not very distinct, they 
certainly show that the Corporation have been the means of the acquisition of 
the place. It is supposed from all that I can gather on the matter, that the 
first portion of the Green was a grant from James II. to William Tumbull, 
Lord of Provan and Bishop of Glasgow. The portion thus granted would 
seem to be that near our present Court-House, and named at the period (1450) 
the ' Laigh Green,' or the 'Skinners' Green.' 

'* In the year 1664, and under the provostship of John Bell, another 
portion of land called the ' High Green,' bounded on the north by Camlachie 
Burn, on the west by the east end of the Laigh Green, on the south by the 
Clyde and Provost Haugh, and on the east by the boundary of the Royalty, 
was added to the other. 

" In the year 1686, before the Revolution, and during the provostship of 
John Barnes, the Corporation commenced the purchase of the run-riggs of 
Craignestock, now called the Calton Green, near Monteith Row. In 1780, 
the whole Green contained 59 acres i rood and 7 falls ; and at that period 
there was an island in the river containing an acre and 30 falls, and situated 
near where the W^ashing- House now stands, and forming one of the principal 
salmon shots. During the provostship of Andrew Cochran, in 1744, the 
Corporation tried to sell a portion of the Laigh Green, in consequence of their 
being laid under contribution through the rebellion of 171 5; but pubhc 
indignation was so great, and so strongly expressed against their doing so, that 
they had to abandon the attempt. 

"The first walks in the Green were made in 1756 ; and in the year 1783, 
more than 28 acres were purchased from Colin Rae of Little Govan, and 
several smaller lots of the lands of Kinclaith were also bought from other 
parties. In 1792, the Corporation purchased from Patrick Bell of Cowcaddens, 
the portion of the Green called Fleshers' Haugh and Provost Haugh; and this 
was the last purchase that I know of being made for the purpose of forming 
what is now known as the Green." 

Mr. Moir concludes his statement by saying : — 

" I think some deference ought to be shown to the present hostile attitude 
of the working classes, especially when the people at the east end would pay 
a tax of a penny a pound to avoid the Green being ruined." 

In consequence of the public having expressed a strong feeling 
against the scheme of working coal on the Green, the Magistrates 
and Council have allowed the matter to drop in the meantime. 


The community are much indebted indeed to Mr, Moir for 
the very great attention which he has paid to improve and 
ornament the Green of Glasgow, and to render it not only useful 
to the public, but also to make it a place of healthful amusement 
and recreation to all classes of our citizens ; this he has done 
without fee or reward. 

In reference to certain operations which were made to meliorate 
various portions of the Green, Mr. Moir on a subsequent occasion 
thus informs us : — 

'' In the year 1813, the Magistrates and Council having directed a design 
and specification for improving the Green to be drawn up, and a plan thereof 
to be made, the same was accordingly done and approved of. The design 
comprehended the following particulars : — 

" 1st. Raising the Laigh Green in some places four, and in others five feet. 

" 2d. Embanking the Fleshers' Haugh. 

" 3d. Forming a tunnel from the head of the Green to the Episcopal 
Chapel, for containing the Camlachie Burn. 

" 4th. Slope levelling the Calton Green, so as to make it assimilate with 
the High Green. 

" 5th. Levelling the other parts of the Green. 

" 6th. Converting the road from St. Mungo's Lane to Craignestock into a 

" 7th. Laying out the Calton Green in building lots, and forming a street 
between them and the Green. 

" 8th. Forming a street from the bottom of the Saltmarket to the Calton 
Green, in front of the English Chapel, in a line with the south front of the 
wing of the southmost house in Charlotte Street. 

«' 9th. Planting trees in various places of the Green, and lastly, the 
removal of the Washing-House. After the rise of the surface of the Laigh 
Green above alluded to had been effected, it was still common for the Laigh 
Green to be flooded in the winter season. Subsequent to this, but previous 
to my connection with the Corporation in 1848, it was again raised from 
three to four feet all over, since which period I think it has never been again 
flooded. During the time that I have been connected with the Corporation 
the embankment of the river has been completed from the Fleshers' Haugh to 
Hutchesons' Bridge ; numerous new footpaths have been made ; the drainage 
of the Green has been completed ; various corners have been planted with 
trees, ornamental shrubs and flowers, and surrounded with a neat malleable- 
iron railing, as has also a belt running along the whole length of Monteith 
Row, also enclosed with a neat malleable-iron railing ; and now, though every- 
thing has not been done that may yet be done, I look upon Glasgow Green to 
be one of the noblest recreation grounds in the three kingdoms." 

At the time when the subject of working the coal in the 


Green was under discussion at our Council Board, I addressed 
the following letter to the Glasgozv Herald of 2 2d January 

"Subsidence of the Green of Glasgow. — There is a curious instance 
of the subsidence of the Green of Glasgow that took place in the year 1754, 
which has not been taken notice of by any of our Glasgow historians ; but on 
the subject- — that danger might arise from a similar subsidence, in the event 
of the working of the coal in the Green being proceeded with, perhaps the 
following notice may prove interesting to our citizens. It may, however, be 
as well, in the first place, to recapitulate the observations of different council- 
lors on the subject, made at the last meeting of our Council Board, as I have 
some doubts of the correctness of their views as to the cause of sinkings on 
the Green at different times." 

The following is taken from the Glasgozv Herald : — 

" Mr. M'Adam asked what kind of roof was over this coal-field ? 

" Mr. Murray said it was that usually belonging to the Glasgow coal-field. 

" Mr. M'Adam said that his question had reference to the keeping up of 
the ground, for it had been very much sunk from the effects of similar works. 

" Mr. Murray. — The coal in the Green lies very deep, and there is little 
fear of the level of ground being much interfered with. Where the ground 
has sunk much the roof has been partly composed of sand. 

" Mr. Dreghorn recommended, as this was a very important matter, that 
it be delayed, and that meanwhile the report be circulated amongst the 

" Mr. M'Dowall said it was contemplated by Mr. Johnstone that there 
would be subsidence of from two to three feet ; but he said that this might 
easily be filled up by deposits obtained from the public, and long before the 
coal was worked out of the ground might be made as good as ever it was. 

" Mr. Gray. — It is very desirable that we should know a little more of the 
subsidence than we do now. The subsidence on the south side, in similar 
cases, is even more than four or five feet. 

" Mr. Bain said the question of subsidence was an important one. On 
Rutherglen Green, for instance, the subsidence had been so great as to form 
a loch, upon which people skated in winter time. At Mr. Wilson's coal-fields 
in the north it was also very great. On the Rutherglen Road the subsidence 
was very great — so much so as to have torn some of the houses to shivers. 
At Mr. Reid's workings, near Rutherglen, the walls were so much opened that 
any one might put his hands into the crevices. 

" Mr. Moir stated that on the south side houses were held together by 
iron rods and connecting plates fixed on the walls. 

"Mr. Binnie said the subsidence would not be of any moment." 

From the above extract it appears that all the said councillors 


were of opinion that the sinking in the Green had been caused by 
certain mining operations which had taken place in the adjacent 
lands. But I cannot reconcile this with the under -mentioned 
circumstance of the Green having sunk above ten feet in 1754 — 
and this upon the highest or strongest ground of the Green, 
while the lowest or weakest part remained unaffected, and while 
the coal in the Green had not been worked at all. 

Extract, Scots Magazine, 1754, page 154. — "Letters from Glasgow, of 
6th March, bear that people were greatly surprised with the sinking of the 
walk along the river side, near the head of the Green, in breadth in some 
parts near twenty, and in length about eighty yards. The sinking, which 
appeared at first to be about five feet, continued gradually for some days, and 
then it was above ten. 

" It is remarkable that though the distance from the walk to the river is 
about fifty or sixty yards, with a considerable descent, yet it is only the 
highest ground that has sunk. No alteration appears near the water edge, 
excepting a few small chinks or openings." 

" Various are the conjectures about the cause. Some will have it that 
there are springs below ground which communicate with the river, and (as 
the soil is sandy) have formed a cavity by washing away the sand, and there 
being nothing to support the weight above, the earth has fallen in. Others 
suspect that the river — which, at this part, forms a curve or crook, and 
is very deep, has, by degrees, washed away the foundation, etc. — by the 
openings that appear at the greatest distance from it, and the way they point, 
they apprehend that if proper care is not speedily taken the river will cut out 
a new channel for itself." 

In the year 1754, when the above-mentioned subsidence took 
place on the Green of Glasgow, the whole of Europe, and like- 
wise America, and the West Indies, suffered from a succession 
of earthquakes, which continued till 1775, when Lisbon was 
overwhelmed by one of them. In 1754 we learn from the Scots 
Magazine that the shocks of an earthquake were felt all over 
Yorkshire. That in Sicily two villages were swallowed up, and 
that 40,000 persons perished at Grand Cairo, and two-thirds of 
that city laid in ruins by like convulsions of the earth. Under 
these circumstances, I think it is probable that the sinking of the 
walk on the High Green of Glasgow in March 1754 was caused 
by repeated small shocks of an earthquake, which although so 
slight as not to alarm the citizens, were quite sufficient to effect 
the subsidence mentioned. It may be remarked, however, that 


the walk which had thus sunk ten feet lay on the high ground 
immediately on the north of the Arns Well, and might have been 
soft sandy ground, full of springs. From the name of " Peat 
Bog," which the place still bears, we may presume that the lands 
on this portion of the Green had at one time been a marsh or 
peat moss. 

It appears from the Scots Magazine of 1755 (page 594) and 
of 1756 (page 40) that there were continued shocks of earth- 
quakes felt all over the world during the said years, and that 
these shocks also affected Glasgow and the lands in its neigh- 

" 1756, 6th January. On Wednesday last, betwixt one and two o'clock in 
the morning, a small shock of an earthquake was felt at Greenock, and 
several places in that neighbourhood, as well as at Dumbarton, Inchinnan, 
and Glasgow. A writer from Kilmalcolm, about 10 miles from Glasgow, 
says : — ' Yesterday, i st January, I felt about seven or eight shocks of an 
earthquake all succeeding one another — the whole shocks were over in the space 
of half a minute. The second shock was the greatest, and so violent, that it 
fairly Hfted me off the bed, jolted me to the head of it, and in a moment 
down again to where I lay before. I believe three or four such shocks would 
have laid this house in ruins.'" — Edinburgh Courant. 

Those convulsions of the earth, though slight, nevertheless 
having been frequently repeated, may have tended to diminish 
the size of the Point Isle, then situated a little below the Arns 
Well, and near the place where the subsidence had occurred. 

In 1760, as shown in the annexed Plan of the Green, the 
Point Isle was quite a conspicuous object, as forming a part of 
our public park, but how it came so quickly after this date to 
have been swept away has never been satisfactorily accounted 

From the following quotation it appears that the Point Isle had 
become of much smaller extent in 1776 than formerly, as it is 
there called merely "a sort of an island," whereas in 1730, during 
the provostship of Peter Murdoch, James Moor, land surveyor, 
having made a sketch of the Green, reported that the island in 
question then contained one acre and 30 falls of ground, and that 
it had been one of the principal salmon shots of the river: — 

Constitutional, 1776, page 351. — "We hear from Glasgow that during 


the late swell on the river Clyde, four women, who were attending clothes on 
the Green, were several times in the most imminent danger, from the rapidity 
of the flood, and at last two of them lost their lives ; the other two having 
saved themselves by getting on a sort of an island, till the water subsided. A 
woman was also drowned in Clyde a little below the Broomielaw." 

Although this accident happened in my day, yet I was then 
too young to have remembered any particulars of the circum- 
stance, or of the Point Isle ; and notwithstanding of having been 
accustomed very early in life to resort to this part of the river 
for the purpose of bathing, I cannot call to my recollection 
having observed any vestiges of the Point Isle ; it therefore must 
have disappeared very soon after the above unfortunate calamity 
had occurred. 

Being a good swimmer for a boy, I wished to ascertain what 
kind of bottom the river had at Peat Bog; accordingly at the 
bend of the river, near the Arns Well, which place was then con- 
sidered the deepest part of the stream, I dived to the bottom 
of the river and brought up a handful of fine sand, the depth 
being fully eighteen feet. Having then swam a short distance 
down the stream, I was surprised to find that it suddenly became 
quite shallow, and that I could touch the bottom of the river 
with my feet without having been out of my depth. This ap- 
peared to me at the time to have been an extraordinary circum- 
stance ; but now I am of opinion that the shallow part of the 
river in question had formerly been the bed of the Point Isle, 
and that in fact it then was the debris of the said isle, I further 
remember that at this period there was a range of old decayed stobs 
inserted in the bank of the river, between the Arns Well and the 
Old Bridge, which no doubt had been so placed for the purpose 
of preventing any part of the Green from being washed away 
by floods. The plan of thus confining the flow of the river, 
and the more important measures of building jetties to narrow 
the Clyde for navigation purposes, just then commenced by Mr. 
Golborne, may perhaps sufficiently account for the sudden dis- 
appearance of the Point Isle shortly after 1776, without the 
supposed intervention of earthquakes — at any rate, there is no 
record, so far as I have seen, of the Point Isle having been removed 


from the channel of the upper navigation by dredging, or by any 
other operation of manual labour, and therefore it must be 
presumed to have been wasted away by natural tidal or fluvial 

There also existed at this time another island in the river, 
immediately below the Old Bridge, which, before the breast 
between the bridges was built in 1772, formed a sort of peninsula 
that joined the Old Green, or Dowcot Green, at low water, but at 
other times became an island of considerable size. 

In one of Slezer's Views of Glasgow, drawn up in the reign 
of Charles II., there appears to be three haystacks upon this 
island, so that it must have been considerably elevated above the 
level of the river itself. It appears from the Burgh Accounts 
that in 1578 there was a pigeon-house or dowcot on the Old Green 
of Glasgow, and hence came the name of the " Dowcot Green." 

" Burgh Records, discharge : Compt. of Patrick Glen, Theasurer of the 
Burgh, 3d May, 1578." 

'* Item for ye dowcatt on ye Grene vi. s. viij. d." 

In my infantile days. Bailie Craig of the Water Port, Stock- 
well Street, used to discharge his cargoes of timber upon the 
Dowcot Green island. The channel of the river for sailing vessels 
was then upon the south side of the river, and was navigable up 
to Rutherglen. My mother, who was born in 1734 and died in 
1 8 16, informed me that in her young days the Dowcot Green 
isle was generally resorted to by the inhabitants of the western 
district for the purpose of washing and bleaching their clothes, 
while the inhabitants of the eastern parts of the city usually went 
to the Low Green of Glasgow for like purposes. 

This isle, like the Point Isle, has also gradually passed away, 
without any efforts having been made by our Magistrates to re- 
move it by manual labour ; but its disappearance can be readily 
accounted for in consequence of Golborne's operations to deepen 
the channel of the river, and by the general liberty which was 
either given to the public, or winked at, to take sand from the 
river at this spot, there being a direct road from what is now 
Great Clyde Street to the river for the purpose of watering horses, 


and otherwise for giving a free and easy access to the Clyde 
below the bridge. 

Although the city authorities do not seem to have made much 
objection to individuals taking sand from the river below the 
bridge, nevertheless they appear to have been careful to preserve 
the integrity of the Horse Ford (see Plan) immediately above the 
bridge, as the following quotation shows : — 

Council Records, 27th July 1639. — "The Council granted licence to 
Sir Robert Douglas to gett ane hundredth kairtis of the tounes guarvell to 
help to build out the dyk of his zaird nearest Clyde bezound the Bridge." 

(This must have been from the Horse Ford.) 

I have often waded across this ford without undressing more 
than my under garments, so that a horse and cart could then 
readily pass at that point from one side of the river to the other. 

I remember that the bottom of the river at the Horse Ford 
consisted of moderate-sized gravel, which rendered the passage of 
cattle and carriages over this part of the river to have been then 
easy and free from danger. 

Dr. Cleland, in the first chapter of his Annals, has given us a 
romantic account of a battle which was said to have taken place 
on the streets of Glasgow, near the College, between Sir William 
Wallace and the English, in the course of which battle Wallace 
(as the Doctor says) "rushed forward to the spot where Percy 
was, and with one stroke of his broadsword cleft Percy's head in 
two." ^ 

In opposition to the learned Doctor, however, Mr. Pagan, ip 
his Sketches of Glasgow (at page 6), thus writes : — 

" The metrical romance of Wallace, written in the i 5th century, by Blind 
Hany, gives a long and minute account of a conflict which that hero is said 
to have fought with the English, on the streets of Glasgow, about the year 
1 300. The silence of all history on the event compels us to reject the affair 
as a fable, like nine-tenths of the same minstrel's works." 

Neither the English historian Holinshed, who wrote the 
Chronicles of Scotland in 1577, nor our own historians, Buchanan, 
Lindsay, or Robertson, have said a word on the subject of this 

1 Query. — Could this feat have been done by Wallace (then on horseback) with 
the famous Dumbarton two-handed broadsword ? 


so-called battle of the Bell of the Brae ; nevertheless, as Wallace 
at this time was actively engaged in expelling the English from 
all their strongholds in Scotland, it is probable that a skirmish of 
some kind did actually take place in Glasgow, about the year 
1300, between Wallace and the English garrison, then occupying 
the Bishop's Castle/ Chapman's account of this battle is not 
improbable ; he says (at page 6) : — 

" Wallace, leaving Ayr with 300 cavalry, hastened to Glasgow, which was 
occupied by an English garrison, consisting of about 1000 men, under Percy 
their general. He arrived about 9 o'clock a.m., and drew up his men on the 
ground, now the north end of the Old Bridge (Bridgegate). In a spirited 
action which now commenced, the superior numbers of the English, for some 
time, seemed to promise them success, when the column under Auchinleck, 
amounting to about 140 men, marching by St. Mungo's Lane and the Drygate, 
made a furious assault on the flank of the enemy. The English instantly 
broke, and were pursued, with considerable slaughter, to Bothwell Castle, 
about 8 miles distant from the city. In the action and pursuit Percy and 
several hundreds of his men are said to have fallen." 

There is here a narrative of circumstantial particulars which 
cannot be altogether overlooked, as they clearly show that the 
narrator must have been well acquainted with the localities of 
Glasgow. It is stated by several historians that Wallace drew 
up his men on the lands of the Bridgegate, but not a word is said 
of his having crossed the river by the bridge, in fact the bridge at 
that time was impassable for cavalry. Mr. Pagan, in his Sketches 
(page 169), thus writes: — 

"Tradition states that prior to 1340 a wooden bridge spanned the Clyde 
somewhere west of Saltmarket Street. This, however, had fallen into decay, 
and in consequence, a stone bridge was built over the Clyde, about 1345, by 
the liberality of Bishop Rae. It was originally only 12 feet in width, and 
would, of course, offer a roadway where ' two wheel-barrows tremble when 
they meet.' " 

It is therefore evident that in 1300 the usual passage across 
the Clyde to Glasgow for cattle and carriages was by the Horse 
Ford, and that Wallace and his cavalry must have entered the 
Bridgegate lands at the north termination of the ford, near 

1 Buchanan, writing regarding this period (at page 254), merely says : — " Scot! 
omnes Eduardi praefectos, ex omnibus urbibus et arcibus exigunt, hie status rerum prope 
biennium durasset, &c." 


our present Slaughter-House (see small Plan), the wooden bridge 
being then only used by foot-passengers. 

We have reason to believe, from authentic history, that 
Edward I. had an English garrison at this time in Glasgow, but 
it most probably consisted only of about 200 men, which, in 
number, were quite sufficient to have kept the peaceable citizens 
of Glasgow in due subjection to the tyrant, and more than the 
Bishop's Castle could have accommodated. That the garrison 
then amounted to 1000 men at arms appears a gross exaggeration, 
for the very next year, 1301, Edward I. peaceably resided three 
days in Glasgow, and went regularly to mass, unaccompanied by 
body-guards or military escorts ; no mention is made of there 
having been a garrison in the Bishop's Castle when Edward 
resided in Glasgow. 

Mr. Pagan (at page 6), in his Sketches, thus writes : — 

"It is certain that in the autumn of the year 1301, King Edward I. of 
England, spent three days within the city, taking up his abode in the spacious 
monastery of the Friars Preachers. From the account of his expenses, which 
are still preserved, we learn that he was constant in his attendance at mass, 
in the Cathedral, and that he made offerings both at the High Altar and at 
the Shrine of St. Mungo." 

There was no occasion for Edward keeping so large a garrison 
in Glasgow as 1000 men-at-arms in order to check any outbreak 
of its citizens, or of those in its immediate vicinity, for the city 
was not a fortified place. (Robertson, i. p. 274.) 

At this time, according to Cleland, Glasgow did not contain 
even 1500 inhabitants, and the Bell of the Brae was then the 
south boundary of the city, few houses being erected beyond the 
bounds of the burgh. On the occasion of the battle in question 
the English appear to have taken their stand upon the high 
grounds of the Bell of the Brae, and to have successfully resisted 
the first attack of Wallace, but to have been broken by the flank 
movement of Auchinleck, and to have fled through open lands 
to Bothwell, where there was an English garrison. Taking a 
view of the whole incidents, and the circumstantial manner in 
which various points are related by different authors, it appears 
probable that a skirmish between Wallace and the English did 


really take place at the Bell of the Brae about the year 1300, 
and that Wallace succeeded in expelling the English garrison 
from Glasgow. 

It must be here remarked that the Green of Glasgow, and 
the whole lands in its environs, including all the low parts of 
Glasgow, were at that time vacant grounds or brushwood forests 
belonging to the Crown, which in 1450 were bestowed by James IL 
on Bishop Turnbull, and afterwards called the Bishop's Forest ; so 
that the battle of the Bell of the Brae and the pursuit to Bothwell 
must have taken place in the open country in the neighbourhood 
of the city, and the battle itself to have been fought not in the 
heart or streets of Glasgow, as stated by Cleland, but beyond the 
south boundary of old St. Mungo, in the fields. 


Regent Murray's Approach to Glasgow and Hamilton, after Langside, 1568, by the 
Horse Ford— Erection of the Stone Dyke across the Clyde — Rutherglen Quay and 
Traffic— Stoppage of the Fords by Act of Parliament, 1768 — Golborne and Clyde 
deepening in 1773 — The Broomielaw in 1760 — ^The Old Bottlework — The Bottle- 
work Company — Gorbals Church — Hutchesontown in 1794. 

By the following extract from Buchanan, page 6'j^, it appears 
that in 1568, immediately before the battle of Langside, the 
Regent Murray occupied nearly the same position as Wallace 
did in 1300 viz., in the open fields (campis patentibus) at the 
north end of the Old Bridge, and that his cavalry crossed the 
river by the Horse Ford, and his infantry by the bridge. From 
the words, " sestu maris tum libera," we learn that the tide flowed 
above the bridge, and that the Horse Ford was probably not 
fordable at high water and spring tides. Buchanan, page 6^6, 
says : — 

" Ille (Pro-rex) vero, ut qui ultro hostes provocare ad certamen statuerat, 
cum primum suos educere potuit, ante oppidum in campis patentibus, qua 
hostes venturos existimabat, acie instructa, aliquot horas stetit. Sed cum 
agmen eorum ulteriore fluminis ripa agi videret, eorum consilio statim intel- 
lecto, et ipse suos pedites per pontem, equites per vada, oestu maris tum libera 
transmissos, Lansidium petere jussit." 

As the Regent crossed the ford in the summer season (viz. 
on the 13th of May 1568), it is probable that the passage was 
easily made, the waters of the river having then most likely been 

From Slezer's View of Glasgow, drawn up in the reign of 
Charles II., it will be seen that the banks of the Clyde immedi- 


ately above the Old Bridge were then lying in a state of nature, 
with a gradual slope on each side towards the river, and that the 
Horse Ford on the north terminated directly opposite the Bridge- 
gate steeple, there being an elevated ridge or mount from thence 
to the mouth of the Molendinar Burn, where the Gaol and public 
offices afterwards came to be erected. 

Cattle and carriages crossing the ford entered the Bridgegate 
by the lane now on the east side of the Merchants' House, and as 
being the nearest route into the heart of the city, they proceeded 
into the Trongate by the Old Wynd, the entry by the Stockwell 
being shut at the bridge (see small Plan), and King Street not 
having been opened till 1724. It thus appears that in former 
times the Horse Ford was the common high-road into Glasgow 
from the south, and in fact that it afforded an easier access 
to the city for cattle and carriages than the narrow Old Bridge 

According to Robertson (i. p. 276) and Keith (477), the Regent 
Murray, after the battle of Langside, " marched back to Glasgow, 
and returned public thanks to God, for his great, and, on his 
side, almost bloodless victory." Holinshed, the English historian, 
thus writes : — 

" The morrow after the battle, being the xiiij of May, the Regent sent to 
somon Hamilton Castle, but the answear was respited till the next day, and 
then he that had the charge came to Glasquho and offered the keyes to the 

In opposition to w^hat is said on this subject by the above 
historian, Buchanan, page 67^, says: — 

" Prorex reliqunm diei quo pugnatum est in recensendis captivis consumpsit. 
Postridie quingenties equitibus tantum comitatus, in vallem glottianam pro- 
fectus, omnia plena fugae vestigiis et vastitatis invenit." 

We are, therefore, left in uncertainty whether the Regent 
recrossed the Clyde with his army, and came to Glasgow, or 
marched to the east by way of the vale of Clydesdale direct from 
Langside, the recent scene of the battle. Buchanan's account 
appears to be the most probable one, as the 500 cavalry mentioned 
most likely were sent to Hamilton to demand the surrender of 


the castle there. Supposing that the Regent with his army 
re -crossed the Horse Ford and came to Glasgow, there would 
have been no difficulty as to their again crossing the Clyde in 
their march to Edinburgh, if they took advantage of the Dalmar- 
nock Ford to pass the river. This ford led directly into the 
lands belonging to the Hamiltons, a family supporting the cause 
of Queen Mary, and, of course, hostile to the views of the Regent. 
The point in question is one of historical doubt. The following 
extract was written by me, and published in the Glasgozv Herald 
of 26th July 1858 : — 

" Your correspondent D. says that the Clyde was fordable for children at 
the Kinning House burn, in the year before the Broomielaw Bridge was built ; 
but even after that time I myself, when a boy, have waded, only breast high, 
across the Clyde at the deepest part of the Harbour." 

" I cannot recollect the exact year, but I remember that on the occasion of 
there being a spate in the river, an alarm arose that the New Bridge was in 
danger of falling. This was upon a Sunday, and on that day I saw a number 
of carters, employed by the magistrates, throwing stones by cart-loads over the 
bridge, into the river, in order to strengthen the foundations of the piers. 
Subsequently, a stone dyke was erected quite across the river, and at low 
water a person could scramble on this dyke from one side of the river to the 
other, merely wading through a ripple.' This dyke destroyed the ancient 
navigation to Rutherglen. At this time the community of Rutherglen was 
torn into local factions, by disputes between the magistrates, crafts, and 
inhabitants, as to certain rights of voting, in consequence of which the 
operations of the Glasgow magistrates at the Jamaica Street Bridge were 
neglected, and so the upper navigation came to be closed." 

" The Rutherglen folks (unlike the Dumbarton folks) never appeared in 
the Court of Session, or in Parliament, to dispute the schemes of the Clyde 

" Your correspondent D. is wrong in stating that coals passing through 
Gorbals to Glasgow, or the neighbourhood, were, at the time in question, 
generally carried on horseback. Old Mr. Dixon had a wooden tram-road 
running from his Govan Coal Works through the present lands of Kingston 
to the Coal Quay, then situated at the west end of Windmillcroft, where the 
river was deeper than at the Broomielaw. I have walked along this tram- 
road, and have seen old Dixon's waggons passing along it." 

I crossed the Old Bridge of Gorbals in the year 1778, when 
it was receiving an addition of ten feet to its former width of 
twelve feet, and this improvement shows that the cartage across 

1 See this dyke represented in Stuart's Vieivs of Glasgmv, page 109. 



it was considerable at that time, and the bridge too narrow for 
the traffic passing over it. 

Before the Broomielaw Bridge was built herring boats and 
small gabberts plied regularly to Rutherglen, and sometimes there 
were more vessels lying at Rutherglen Quay than at the Broomie- 
law Harbour. I remember on one occasion that there was but 
one large vessel (a gabbert) lying at the Broomielaw. The late 
Mr. Alexander Norris, who was born in 1/5 i, informed me that 
in his younger days there was a regular traffic by sailing vessels 
up to Rutherglen Quay from Greenock and the Highlands ; and 
that this traffic was of old date may be presumed when we see 
the arms of the burgh of Rutherglen to be a boat under sail with 
two men navigating her. 

The following advertisement will show that the upper naviga- 
tion was open in the year 1781 : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 29th November 1781. — "That there is a Ferry-boat, 
or Lighter, lying in a park adjacent to the Green of Glasgow (Fleshers' Haugh,) 
possessed at present by John King, late Deacon of the Fleshers, supposed to 
have been cast in by a flood more than twelve months bygone, and as no 
person has made inquiry anent her, this is to give notice to any person who 
can claim the same between and the 12th of January next, may call for Thomas 
Ronald, overseer of the said park, at the foot of the Old Wynd of Glasgow, 
who will show the boat, and upon making their property good, shall be 
returned upon defraying charges." 

It certainly must appear very wonderful in the eyes of the 
present generation, when parliamentary contests are so frequent, 
to see the apathy of the burgh of Rutherglen at this time (1768), 
and to behold its denizens standing still with folded arms and 
calmly allowing the Magistrates of Glasgow to shut up the old 
" use and wont " access by the River Clyde to Rutherglen, the 
most ancient royal burgh of the two. 

Again, it is curious to observe how modestly the Magistrates 
of Glasgow took parliamentary powers to prohibit all carriage and 
cattle traffic on the Old Bridge at their pleasure and good-will, 
notwithstanding of the Rutherglen lieges having possessed a pre- 
scriptive right by use and wont to cross the Clyde with carriages 
and cattle from the days of Bishop Rae in 1345. 


In fact it was of the greatest importance to the burgh of 
Rutherglen to see that the communication between the two burghs, 
by the Old Bridge should then have been kept open for the 
passage of carriages and cattle, as it was the direct highway from 
Rutherglen to Glasgow and the north, the present Rutherglen 
Bridge not having been built till 1776. The Magistrates of 
Glasgow, however, have never exercised their power of shutting 
up the Old Bridge from general carriage and cattle traffic, but, 
on the contrary, have erected a new and more splendid structure 
with full liberty of passage of all kinds, and are now zealously 
endeavouring by prudent management to render it a free bridge 
in all time coming. 

"Act, Anno Octavo Geo. III., Regis. 

Sec. XXII. "Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the 
said magistrates and council of Glasgow shall have full power and authority, 
and are hereby empowered and authorised, as soon as the said New Bridge 
shall be made passable, to cause all fords through the said river Clyde, and 
from thence to that part of the river opposite to the House of Stobcross (the 
distance between these two places measuring one mile, and a quarter of a mile), 
to be stopt up, and the channel of the said river to be dug and made deeper ; 
and the banks of the said river to be cut, and posts, and rails, or other fences 
to be erected thereon, to prevent any person evading the payment of the tolls 
and pontages given and granted by the said Act." 

Sec. XXIII. "And be it enacted, that in case the magistrates and city 
council, and their successors in office, shall think fit to keep up the Old Bridge, 
after the new intended bridge shall be built, they shall have full power and 
authority, and they are hereby empowered and authorised, as soon as the said 
intended New Bridge shall be made passable, to prohibit, and stop the passage 
of all wheel carriages, sledges, or other carriages, or of any horses, cattle, 
sheep, swine, or any sort of cattle or beasts, over the said Old Bridge, but to 
keep the same entirely as a free bridge, for the use of foot passengers only ; 
any law or custom to the contrary notwithstanding." 

Nothing is said in this Act about giving the proprietors of the 
lands fronting the Clyde any compensation for damages which 
might be sustained by them in consequence of their respective 
properties on the banks of the river becoming injured and " cut, 
and posts and rails or other fences erected thereon " at the 
pleasure of the Magistrates ; neither is there a word said in the 
Act about granting the said river-side proprietors adequate re- 


compense for the loss of the salmon fishery ; but, in truth, the 
proprietors in question were too wise to make any objections 
on the subject, as the Act had omitted to say that the ground 
acquired by the operations of the Magistrates from the old 
channel of the river, should nevertheless still remain as part 
and portion of the said river channel, in case of need. By this 
omission in the Act, the river-side proprietors have gained much 
river-side ground, which the River Trustees lately have been (in 
the course of their operations) obliged to buy back at high prices 
from the said proprietors. 

Within my remembrance, Mr. David Todd of Springfield and 
Mr. Francis Reid of Greenlaw gained, each of them, about an 
acre of water-side ground, in consequence of the channel of the 
Clyde having become greatly narrowed by the erection of jetties 
on both sides of the river immediately after the New Bridge had 
become passable.^ 

In 1829 the Trades' House received ;^io,ooo from the Clyde 
Trustees for the ground which lay between Clyde Street and the 
river. A great part of this ground formed part of the channel of 
the river, as may be seen in Stuart's Vieivs (page 109), where it will 
be seen that the two southmost arches of the bridge stood on dry 
land, but formed part of the bed of the river at floods and spring 
tides. The ox eyes in the bridge were intended to carry off in 
part the extra flow of water in the event of great floods. I have 
often amused myself when a boy in climbing up the piers of the 
bridge into these ox eyes, and walking along the dyke which then 

^ It will be seen from the following advertisement that those jetties protruded con- 
siderably into the channel of the river, and had perches affixed to their extremities there, 
in order to prevent vessels striking against them at high water : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 17th June 1779. — "By the Magistrates of Glasgow : — These arc 
prohibiting and discharging all boatmen, ferrymen, and others, from fixing and landing 
their boats, at or upon any of the jetties, dykes, or other works for improving the 
navigation of the river Clyde, betwixt the lower end of Dumbuck ford and the Bridge 
of Glasgow, and from landing any passengers or goods upon the same jetties, and from 
removing or carrying away the perches fixed on the ends thereof; certifying all who shall 
transgress, that they will be prosecuted for the penalties inflicted by tlie Act of Parlia- 
ment for improving the navigation of the said river, upon all those who shall hurt or 
destroy the works made for deepening thereof." N.B. — The space between the jetties 
gradually came to be filled up with rubbish and the wreck of floods, to the great gain of 
the proprietors of the banks. 


crossed the river from side to side, immediately below the arches 
of the bridge. (See Stuart's Vieivs, page 1 09.) 

In 1768 Mr. Golborne, civil engineer, having made a survey 
of the river, reported to the Magistrates of Glasgow that the Clyde 
was then lying in a state of nature, and that as far down from 
Glasgow as Kilpatrick the river was navigable only for vessels 
drawing less than two feet of water ; that at low water, upon 
one of the hirsts the depth was merely i 5 inches, and upon the 
other five hirsts 1 8 inches ; that at high water the depth on the 
first hirst was only 39 inches, and on the others, upon an average, 
ranging rather above 4 feet at full tide. 

Glasgow Weekly Magazine, 20th March 1773. — " It is with pleasure that 
we acquaint our readers that Mr. Golborne is still successfully carrying on 
his operations in deepening the river Clyde ; and that three coasting vessels 
arrived at the Broomielaw, directly from Ireland, with oatmeal, without stop- 
ping at Greenock, as formerly, to unload their cargoes." 

Scots Magazine, December 1775, P^g^ 693. — "From a sounding of the 
river Clyde, from the lower end of Dumbuck Ford to the Broomielaw of 
Glasgow, taken on the 8th of December by Colin Dunlop, Esq., of Carmyle, 
Messrs. Hugh Wylie and John Douglas, merchants in Glasgow, in consequence 
of a warrant directed to them by the Sheriff-Depute, of the County of Lanark, 
it appears that the said river, within the bounds above mentioned, is more than 
seven feet water at an ordinary neap tide, and that Mr. Golborne, engineer, 
has fully implemented his contract with the city of Glasgow." 

The breast-work between the bridges was built about the year 
1772, immediately after the New Bridge had become passable; 
and this part of Glasgow then became the fashionable promenade 
of our citizens, the route being along Great Clyde Street, from the 
east to the New Bridge, and from thence by the parapet of the 
bridge to the breast-work fronting the river, and thereafter along 
the said breast- work eastward to the Old Bridge — the whole 
making a circuitous pleasure-walk of limited extent. I must say, 
however, that the stroll was not very inviting when the tide was 
out. This walk along the breast was not without danger to care- 
less persons, as there were three or four gaps in it, from which 
stairs descended to the bed of the river, and these gaps and stairs 
were totally without fences. There was a free passage or entry 
across the breast, sloping from Clyde Street to the river, for the 


purpose of enabling horses and cattle to be watered. This access 
path stood nearly opposite to the present Roman Catholic Chapel, 
over which there was a neat wooden bridge, by which the walk 
along the breast-work was not interrupted. It was fenced on 
both sides. The grass plot between the bridges was railed in on 
all sides by a palisade of Scots fir stobs ; but no attention was 
paid to having the grass cropped or weeds eradicated, nature 
being allowed its full scope. I have seen sheep feeding in this 
enclosure, but no other beasts of pasture. 

It appears that in the year 1775, Mr. Golborne's operations 
having deepened the river so as to admit of vessels drawing seven 
feet of water to come up to the Broomielaw, these operations 
had undermined the foundations of the breast-work between the 
bridges, as the following notice shows : — 

Glasgow Journal, 21st August 1777. — "Notice, that the magistrates of 
Glasgow being resolved to re-build that part of the breast, a httle below the 
Old Bridge of Glasgow, which lately fell down. Any person willing to re-build 
the same are desired to give in their proposals to the town-clerks of Glasgow." 

Mr. Golborne's deepening operations may further have tended 
towards the annihilation of the Dowcot Green ^ and Pointhouse 
Isles before mentioned. 

The danger of having had open and unfenced stairs from the 
breast to the River Clyde is seen by the subjoined notice : — 

Glasgow Journal, 28th July 1763. — "On Sunday last (24th) a young boy, 
wading along the edge of the quay, overflowed by the great rains which had 
fallen the day before, coming to one of the stairs that go down from the quay 
to the river, unfortunately fell in ; his sister, somewhat older than himself, 
endeavouring to catch hold of him, fell in likewise. The body was carried 
down by the stream, and his corpse found on Tuesday, about twelve miles 
below. The girl was, by some people in boats lying alongside, taken out alive, 
but died soon after, to the inexpressible grief of the poor parents." 

There is a plate of the Broomielaw, executed in 1760, to be 
seen in Stuart's Views of Glasgow, at page 34, which must be 
regarded as a very curious and interesting antiquarian document. 

Mr. Stuart, at page 41, thus writes regarding it : — 

^ In 1770 the Magistrates of Glasgow (as appears from the City Records) hesitated 
about laying out ^100 to remove the shoal, or remains of the Dowcot Green Isle, and 
hinted to the Merchants' House that they should assist them in this great work. 


"The View appears to have been executed about the year 1760 (date of 
the annexed Plan), and afifords a curious picture of the aspect of our harbour 
in that early stage of its existence, when, as yet, it was only visited by the 
fisherman's wherry, or by the humble trading vessels, which now and then 
made their appearance, freighted with domestic produce from the coast of 
Ireland or the Western Isles. The original drawing has been taken from 
a point not very distant from where the Glasgow Bridge now opens into 
Eglinton Street, the ground in that locality being, till within the last forty or 
fifty years, a rough uncultivated waste — broken, where it approached the river, 
into numerous hollows and indentations, which had been formed by the winter 
currents along the soft and crumbling banks. To the right of the Plate may 
be seen the remains of an ancient tower, said to have been part of a windmill 
erected by Sir George Elphinston about the beginning of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, for the accommodation of his tenantry upon the neighbouring lands, and 
from which the adjoining common received the name of the Windmill Croft. — 
On the left, appear a few detached houses, some of which were removed to 
allow of the formation of Jamaica Street ; and prominent above all, rises the old 
Bottle Work cone, a building erected in 1730, and the predecessor of that 
which was removed from the spot about fifteen years ago. 

" The formation of the original Quay in 1662, with its * weighhouse, foun- 
tain, and cran,' was probably the first innovation which materially changed the 
old rustic appearance of the Broomielaw. The subsequent erection of the 
Bottle Work made, no doubt, another alteration of some consequence ; but the 
greatest change of all took place between the years 1767 and 1773, when the 
first Jamaica Street Bridge was carried across the stream." 

Having passed my early boyhood at Greenlaw House, upwards 
of fourscore years ago, and having then had frequent occasion to 
ramble from the now General Terminus into Glasgow by the river- 
side footpath, the state of the grounds in that quarter has been so 
fully impressed on my memory as still to appear quite fresh, and 
almost present to my mind's eye. Mr. Stuart correctly describes 
this road as having been " a rough uncultivated waste, broken, 
where it approached the river, into numerous hollows and indent- 
ations " — in fact, down to my time it was lying in a complete 
state of nature, except at the Windmill and at the Coal Quay, 
where the hand of man appeared to have made some change. 
Tradeston, Kingston, and Vl^indmillcroft were fields in cultivation, 
having quick-set hedges separating them from the adjacent public 
roads and footpaths. Below the Coal Quay, the Kinning-House 
Burn was crossed by a single plank of rough timber, without 
fences ; and the lands of Tradeston, Windmillcroft, Springfield, 


Parkhouse, Greenlaw, and Mavisbank, were enclosed within thorn 
hedges from the river footpath. There was a small wood at West 
Street. The footpath may be said to have included the whole 
banks of the river, from the bridge to Govan, it then being com- 
pletely open and free to the public, who made roads through the 
same at their pleasure. The narrow lane from the Paisley Road 
to the Coal Quay at Springfield was then principally used by 
the Dumbarton Glasswork Company and by old Dixon, for 
shipping coals at the Coal Quay, there having been a wooden 
tram-road, from Mr. Dixon's works at Little Govan through the 
lands of Kingston and along the said lane itself, direct to the 
Coal Quay. The toll-bar on the Paisley Road was then placed 
nearly opposite to Clarence Street, off Kingston. Although the 
river was deeper at the Coal Quay than at the Broomielaw, it 
was not in general use as a place of export and import. 

In Stuart's View it will be seen that the Broomielaw Harbour 
then reached eastward as far as the mouth of St. Enoch's Burn, 
(a little beyond the site of our present Custom-House), and that 
there was a breast-work along its whole extent ; but the grounds 
from St. Enoch's Burn to the Old Bridge formed the Dowcot 
Green and the Dowcot Isle, on which space there was no breast- 
work. In Stuart's said View (at page 34) there appears on the 
extreme left a small house of one storey ; this house seems to 
have been taken down in 1768, in order to open up Jamaica 
Street to the New Bridge. I remember the other houses next 
the Bottlework, which remained entire after the bridge was built, 
and formed the south-east corner of Jamaica Street for many years. 

In Stuart's View the cone of the Bottlework appears a con- 
spicuous object, and as Stuart says : — " Prominent above all rises 
the old Bottlework cone, which was erected in 1730, and the 
predecessor of that which was removed from the same spot, about 
fifteen years ago." Bailey, in describing a cone, says that it 
" may be conceived to be formed by a revolution of a right-angled 
triangle round the perpendicular leg." Now none of Bailey's 
angles and triangles were to be found in the geometrical construc- 
tion of the old Bottlework cone, for it had a most respectable 
protuberant belly, like a pear, or, as the joke goes, like a London 


alderman's well-fed paunch. This cone, after having stood the 
winter blasts of more than half a century, at last, from the ravages 
of time, tumbled down by the bursting of its belly, the top-weight 
having overcome the adhesion of its lower members. 

Glasgow Mercury, 14th February 1792, page 54. — "The cone of the 
first glass-work erected at the Broomielaw upwards of fifty years ago, and 
which had given indication of its decayed state, occasioned the company to 
give up working in it for some months past, and prepare for its downfall : that 
event took place on Tuesday, the 7th instant, about nine in the morning. 
And from the precautions taken, we are happy to observe that no accident 
befell any of the workmen, which was to be apprehended from the falling of 
so stupendous a building, and such a mass of rubbish." 

Immediately after this disaster had occurred a new cone came 
to be erected on the site of the old one, of strict geometrical pro- 
portions, which, as Stuart says, was taken down about thirty 
years ago. I think the ground was feued for two guineas per 
square yard, and on it now stands our Custom-House. There 
was a small parapet wall with an iron railing above it placed 
immediately in front of the old Bottlework (see Stuart's Plate), 
and as the windows of the work fronting the street were kept 
open for the admission of fresh air, any person standing on the 
public street could readily see the whole process of bottle-making, 
as the same was going on in the bosom of the cone. The taking 
of the melted metal out of the glowing furnace was the first 
process to be seen ; then came the act of blowing the said metal 
into a bottle-mould through the exertions of the operative's lungs, 
by means of a long iron pipe. It was a beautiful sight to see the 
red-hot bottle blown up with as much ease as a child blows up 
its soap-bells. The outward form of the bottle was finished by 
affixing a little protuberance of metal to the neck of it, and then 
depositing it in a situation of the furnace of gentle heat, so as to 
allow of its gradually cooling. The men at work were generally 
dressed in their shirts, and seemed to have been much oppressed 
by the extreme heat of the place. I have often stood in Clyde 
Street in admiration of the whole process of bottle-blowing. 

From the following advertisement it will be seen that the ori- 
ginal Bottlework Company did not prove a very lucrative concern. 


Glasgow Journal, 27th December 1756. — "As the contract of co-partner- 
ship betwixt Richard Alexander Oswald and Company, of the Glass-work at 
Glasgow, dissolved November last, it is expected their customers will make im- 
mediate payment of the debts due by them to Andrew Scott, the Company's 
clerk, or settle the same by bills, otherwise they will be obliged to take the dis- 
agreeable method of constituting them by decreet. Gentlemen wanting bottles 
may, by applying to George Buchanan, senior, merchant in Glasgow, or to 
the said Andrew Scott, at the Glass-house, be supplied with common quart 
bottles at 25s per groce, champagne quarts at 27s for ready money only." 

The successors of Richard Alexander Oswald and Company 
in the Bottlework appear to have also found bottle-blowing 

Glasgow Mercury, 21st January 1779. — "Glasgow Bottle Work. — The 
Glasgow Bottle Work Company, carried on under the firm of Robert Scott, 
jun., & Co., being now dissolved, their whole heritable subject at the foot of 
Jamaica Street, with all their utensils, materials, and stock on hand, are to be 
exposed to public sale in the Exchange Tavern here on Wednesday, the 24th 
of February next. Part of the property fronting Jamaica Street, and measuring 
from north to south 193 feet, might be set ofif for building, and leave sufficient 
room for carrying on the manufacturing business." 

My father, who at this time was engaged in building the large 
tenement in Jamaica Street, the third on the north-west side of 
the street, urged the Magistrates of Glasgow very strongly to 
purchase the Bottlework, seeing how much its removal would 
benefit the city property in Jamaica Street, and besides, being in 
all likelihood a profitable purchase, would take away the most 
intolerable nuisance of its volumes of smoke, covering with its 
black films the town's feuing property in St. Enoch's Square, and 
deteriorating all the heritage in its neighbourhood. The Magis- 
trates, however, after having taken the subject into their consi- 
deration, did not think it prudent to make the purchase. In 
consequence of the Bottlework having been purchased by a new 
company, and the works continued in a still more aggravated form, 
Jamaica Street remained for about half a century quite a neglected 
street, but as soon as the said works were abandoned, and the 
cone taken down, Jamaica Street rapidly improved, and is now 
one of the very first leading streets of our city. 

In M'Vean's M'Urc, page 231, there is a plate of the Broomie- 
law said to have been drawn in 1768, but it appears to me to be 


an embellished plan of the locality, and in the minutiae differs in 
several respects from that of Stuart, at page 34. The Bottlework 
cone is there represented in an improved shape, with little or no 
belly ; and there are rough stobs in front of the cone in place of 
a neat parapet stone wall, with iron railings above it. The 
houses on each side of the cone differ from those represented in 
Stuart's Views, and the Ropework grounds (or Old Green) are 
shown as a dense forest, while in Stuart's Plate there is only a 
small clump of trees next the Bottlework to be seen. In my 
early days these grounds were quite bare of planting, and I have 
frequently crossed them in going from the city to the Broomielaw, 
although this was trespassing upon the Ropework lands, which 
liberty, however, was seldom objected to by the rope spinners. 
In M'Vean's Broomielaw the breast-work is represented as a fence 
of wooden stobs, but in Stuart's View it is drawn as a stone erec- 
tion, with a stair in it, descending to the river, such as was noticed 
by me when quoting the case of a boy being drowned by falling 
into the river over the stair. 

As far as my recollection goes, I think that Stuart's View, at 
page 34, is an accurate representation of the Broomielaw locality 
in 1760, little alteration having taken place in it for many years 
after the New Bridge was opened in 1772. 

In M'Vean's View the lands where Carlton Place buildings 
are erected appear as waste ground, but the first or original 
Gorbals Church (of Buchan Street) is seen in it, standing 
amidst a few huts or houses of little value. As the present 
Gorbals Church has been the source of much public interest, and 
of long and irritating litigation between numerous parties, both 
civil and ecclesiastical, the following notices regarding its site 
fourscore years ago may prove interesting to many of our 

In June 1855 I addressed a letter as under to the editor of 
the Glasgozv Herald : — 

" Sir, as your readers, no doubt, feel interested in the question at issue, 
regarding the Gorbals Church, I beg leave to annex an old advertisement 
announcing the sale of the site of the present church in Clyde Terrace. The 
property was afterwards let for a dyework, and there being then a cart entry 


to the river, opposite the dyework, the goods and yarns which were dyed were 
subsequently washed in the stream. There was a similar cart entry to the 
river on the north side, and carts passed to and fro across the Clyde, a little 
below the present Victoria Bridge. Towards the west of the dyework, in the 
line of Carlton Place, there was a ropewalk which I remember. I further 
annex an old advertisement, having reference to the site of the first or old 
Gorbals Church. This Church was sold by the Gorbals feuars, but in what 
manner the titles were made up, or what became of the money, I cannot 

Glasgow Mercury, 17th April 1781. — "To be sold, by public roup, on 
Friday, the 28th curt., within the Exchange Coffee House, Glasgow, between 
the hours of eleven and twelve o'clock, that pottery adjoining the Gorbals 
Church, which belonged to the deceased Mr. John Holden, and presently 
possessed by Mr. Andrew Boag. If any person incline to make a private 
bargain they will please apply to Mrs. Holden, at Burrel Hall, any time before 
the roup." 

19th April 1 78 1. — "To be sold, by public roup, within the house of 
James Pollok, vintner in Gorbals, upon Friday the nth of May next, between 
the hours of twelve, mid-day, and three o'clock afternoon, the two just and 
equal third part of that Kill, barn, and yard, or piece of waste ground at the 
back thereof, lying in the village of Gorbals, on the south side of the river 
Clyde, between the old and new bridges. As the same are presently in the 
possession of Arthur Watson, maltman in Gorbals, the proprietor. The 
articles of roup and progress of writs are in the hands of John Sheels, ^vriter 
in Glasgow, to whom, at the sheriff clerk's office, or to the said James Pollok, 
or Arthur Watson, any person inclining to purchase privately may apply 
betwixt and the day of sale." 

Glasgow Mercury, 3d July 1792. — "To be sold, by public roup, on 
Thursday, the 5th of July instant. The whole buildings and vacant ground of 
Joseph Rogers and Sons, cotton spinners in Gorbals, on the west side of the 
road leading from the river Clyde to the Church of Gorbals. The houses are 
built in the form of a square, and inclosed ; and, besides the cotton work, 
there is a good dwelling house and warehouse on the premises. — Apply to 
Wilson and M'^Farlane, writers." 

Glasgow Mercury, 20th November 1783. — "To be sold, by public roup, 
on the nth of December next, That piece of ground on the side of the river 
Clyde, and south side thereof, next adjacent to the village of Gorbals, and 
on the west side of the highway or street leading from the town of Glasgow's 
Bridge on the south end thereof, with the whole houses built thereon. — Apply 
to John M'Ewen, writer." 

Glasgow Journal, 21st November 1782. — "To be set, for one or more 
years, as can be agreed on, That piece of ground lying at the east side of 
the Gorbals, and extending from the river, upwards, to near Rutherglen Loan 
consisting of about two acres." (Muirhead Street was formed on this ground.) 

At the south-east end of the Old Bridge there was a re- 


taining wall which stretched up the Main Street of Gorbals by a 
gradual slope, but the surface of this wall was upon the level 
with the street. Immediately to the east of this wall there was 
a narrow lane descending from the south extremity of the re- 
taining wall to the river, which was used as a passage to the 
Horse Ford in former times ; but in my day was principally 
taken advantage of for the purpose of watering horses and cattle 
at the said ford. 

From the above-mentioned lane, eastward to the Blind Burn, 
the banks of our river, within my remembrance, were lying in 
a state of nature. The Blind Burn of old formed the eastern 
boundary of the Gorbals lands, which lands, according to M'Ure, 
page 62, at one time belonged to Lady Marjory Stewart, Lady 
Lochow, granddaughter of Robert IL It was this lady who 
named those lands " St. Ninian's Croft." 

At the division of the lands of Gorbals in 1790 the level 
track of ground on the east of the village named St. Ninian's 
Croft became the property of Hutcheson's Hospital, and was 
feued out by the directors of that Institution, and called Hutche- 
sontown. The village was begun in 1794. 

On the 24th of June 1794 the foundation stone of the first 
Hutcheson's Bridge over the Clyde was laid by Gilbert Hamilton, 
Esq., Lord Provost, attended by the Magistrates and a number of 
respectable gentlemen. This bridge had five arches, was 410 
feet long, and 26 feet broad within the parapets. On the i8th 
of November 1795, during a great flood of the river, it unfor- 
tunately was swept away ; but it has been replaced by the 
present more elegant structure. 

The substance of the following article was published in the 
Glasgow Herald of loth September 1859, and is now repeated 
with some alterations and amendments : — 

" The Old Bridge of Glasgow — Water Port — Bridgegate — 
Anecdotes, &c. 

" Editor of the Herald — . Most of your readers are familiar with 

the principal events which have occurred of old in the north quarter of 
Glasgow, embracing the bypast history of our noble Cathedral, of the Archi- 


episcopal Palace, of the Prebendal Manses, of the storming of the Bishop's 
Castle by Wallace, of the house in which Queen Mary visited Darnley, of the 
plundering of Archbishop Beaton's Palace, of its household plenishing by 
John Mure, of Caldwell, and of the rise and progress of our preceptorial 
College — first as the ' Auld Pedagogue ' in the ' Ratten Raw,' ^ and then as 
the erudite University of the City of Glasgow, with its spacious courts and 
garden, to say nothing of the more ignoble doings of the Howgate head and 
Castle yard hangings. There are few of your readers, however, who are 
equally well acquainted with the former state of the south quarter of our city, 
when it formed the fashionable place of residence of a great part of our 
aristocratic citizens, and the seat of modish elegance for holding our dancing 
assemblies and great public meetings." ^ 

1 '« De terris tenementi et loci muncupati ' Auld Pedagog ' jacentibus in via Ratonum, 
ex Australi inter tenementum Magistri Johannis Reid ex parte occidentale, et terris 
Roberti Reid orientale." — Book of Our Lady College. 

2 " I believe that I was at the last dancing assembly which was held in the large 
hall of the Merchants' House, shortly before the Assembly Rooms at the Tontine were 
erected in 1782. I was carried there through the Bridgegate, in a neatly cushioned 
sedan chair, by two chairmen, the fare of which was sixpence, certainly as comfortable 
a conveyance as either our modern cabs or omnibuses." 


Residenters in the Briggate — Bailie Craig's House in 1736 — The Old Custom-House — 
The Water Port— The Plague in 1574 — The Old Bridge and a walk over it in 
1778 — Attempt by the Magistrates to shut it up — Provost George Murdoch. 

Among the higher class of our citizens who of old had their 
domiciles in the Bridgegate, Goosedubs, and upon the banks of 
the Molendinar Burn, we find the names of the Campbells of 
Blythswood, of Douglas of Mains, including Her Grace the Duchess 
of Douglas (who died in 1774), of the Campbells of Silvercraigs 
(in whose house Oliver Cromwell lodged), of Crawford of Craw- 
fordsburn, of Provost Sir John Bell of Hamilton Farm, of Camp- 
bell of Woodside, of the Honourable John Aird (who was ten 
times Lord Provost of Glasgow, and who in 1720 projected the 
opening of the Candleriggs, and of King Street to the Bridgegate), 
of Bailies Robert and George Bogle, of the Rev. Dr. Woodrow, of 
the Rev. Dr. John Gillies, of Provost Cochran and of Provost 
Christie, of Bailies Dickie, Gilmore, Craig, Dreghorn, Clark, and 
Robertson ; of Conveners Findlay and Crawfurd, of Dean of Guild 
Bogle, and also of Sir Robert Pollok of Pollok. In this quarter 
were likewise situated the original Ship Bank and the Glasgow 
Arms Bank. M'Ure mentions two of my great-great-grandfathers 
having their places of residence in the Bridgegate — the one 
situated next to Campbell of Blythswood's house, and the other 
the second house east of the bridge ; so that perhaps I may be 
excused for feeling some interest in this old locality. John Craig, 
who was Bailie of Glasgow in 1734, and Robert Dreghorn, who 
died in 1760 — the grandfather of the well-known "Bob" — 


resided, early in life, in the Bridgegate, a little to the east of 
Blythswood's house ; but Bailie Craig, like other great folks of 
our own day, took a start to the west, and built a large house in 
Clyde Street, which was lately taken down. M'Ure (page 322) 
thus describes it : — 

"Bailie John Craig has built, and is yet building (1736), a stately house, 
of curious workmanship, beautifully inclosed with several workhouses, shades, 
and storehouses, \yith a garden and summer parlour, of hewen stone, so that 
no carpenter or joyner in the kingdom has its parallell." 

Mr. Robert Dreghorn's son, Allan Dreghorn, bailie in 1741 
(the uncle of " Bob "), soon after followed the example of Bailie 
Craig, and built the large house in Clyde Street (still to the fore) 
which is now the furniture warehouse of Mr. Thomas Smith, 
cabinetmaker and upholsterer. 

Glasgow Journal, 25th October 1764. — "On Friday last (19th), died at 
his seat in the country, Allan Dreghorn, Esq., an eminent merchant of this 

Mr. Dreghorn's seat in the country was Ruchill, purchased by 
the late James Davidson, Esq. 

In the Glasgow Mercury of 20th October 1785 there is the 
following notification : — 

" On Thursday the 1 3th instant, was married in this city, by the Rev. Mr. 
Taylor of St. Enoch's, James Dennistoun, younger, of Colgrain, Esq., to Miss 
Margaret Dreghorn (Bob's sister), daughter of the late Robert Dreghorn of 
Blochairn, Esq." 

In consequence of this marriage the Dennistoun family suc- 
ceeded to the large property of Robert Dreghorn of Ruchill, best 
known in Glasgow by the name of " Bob Dragon." 

There was a curious old tenement which stood at the south- 
west corner of Stockwell Street, at the west extremity of the old 
Water Port wall, or dyke, as it was called. This property was 
purchased some years ago by the late James M'Hardy, Esq., upon 
speculation, and was taken down to form the present Victoria 
Buildings. This old building has been the source of various 
mistakes, and of much controversy among some of our Glasgow 
savans and antiquaries, who have generally concluded that in 


ancient times it was the Custom-House of Glasgow, rented by the 
Crown, where all Clyde entries by the skippers of our Broomielaw 
small craft were wont to be made, and where the Crown dues 
of customs were paid. In an article published in the Glasgow 
Herald I expressed my doubts of the Crown ever having had 
a Custom-House at the foot of the Stockwell ; but from the 
following information, received from Mr. Ross of the Customs 
through Andrew Scott, Esq., our distinguished Custom-House 
historian, I see that I was so far mistaken on this subject, in 
doubting of the Crown EVER having had a Custom-House at this 
spot, as it appears pretty evident that in 1757 the Crown Custom- 
House had been removed from some other part of the city, and 
located at the foot of Stockwell Street. 

From Andrew Scott, Esq. 

"Glasgow, 27//^ May 1862. 
" Dear Sir — Mr. Ross has sent me to-day a copy of the letter alluded to 
in my last ; it is from the collector and comptroller at Port-Glasgow, dated 
17th November 1757, to the Board of Customs then at Edinburgh, defining 
the situation of the premises proposed for, and which were subsequently rented 
as the Custom House, which I am sure you will join with me in the conclusion 
that it is that referred to in StuarVs Ancie7it Glasgow, as being situated at the 
foot of the Stockwell Street. I annex copy of a letter Mr. Ross has sent me. 
I am led to the belief that the Custom-House referred to in the chronological 
chapter in Cleland's publication in 1832, of the Statistics, &c., connected with 
the city, was not in that building, but probably formed a small hut, or other 
erection, at the north-west side of the Stockwell Bridge, and I am now the 
more inchned on this view, from the recollection of reading in Dr. Smith's 
Memorabilia of the city a minute of the town council anent slating and other 
repairs thereon, the expense of which was very trifling ; and if my memory 
serves me correctly, I think that the plan of the north side of the bridge, which 
you gave us in the Herald, exhibits the spot where this hut, or Custom-House, 
as it might be called, stood, for the collection of the toll-dues, and other local 
customs, as the ladle-dues, &c., were called ; and I also think that said council 
minutes imposed on the toll collector the duty of preventing lepers from coming 
into town." 

Copy from Mr. Ross to Andrew Scott, Esq. 

"Port-Glasgow, x'jth Nmembcr ijsy. 

" Hon. Sirs — . . . We beg also leave to acquaint your Honours, that 
there is a house now to be lett, and to be entered into at the above-mentioned 
term of Whitsunday next, which is every way convenient, and well situated 


for answering the purpose of a Custom- House, with a sufficient warehouse 
belonging to it. That this house is situated nigh to the Broomielaw, being 
where the two streets meet at the end of the bridge, and faces to each of them. 
That upon inquiry, we find it to be the only one in that corner of the town 
proper for a Custom-House, and that the yearly rent of it is ^12. 

(Signed) — <'Josiah Coutherie, A. Kinloch." 

In 1757 the Broomielaw Harbour extended eastward to St. 
Enoch's Burn, as may be seen in Stuart's View, at page 34, drawn 
in 1760; consequently the house mentioned in Mr. Ross's letter 
was situated nigh to the Broomielaw. But in the year 1736 
M'Ure, at page 285, thus writes on the subject : — 

" Bremmy-Law. — The next great building is the Bremmylaw harbour and 
cran, with the lodge for his Majesty's weights, beams, and triangles, with a 
fine fountain, which furnishes all boats, barges, and lighters' crews that arrive 
at this harbour, from Port-Glasgow, with water, and all other vessels which 
come from the Highlands and far off isles of Scotland, besides other places. 
There is not such a fresh water harbour to be seen in any place in Britain ; it 
is strangely fenced with beams of oak, fastened with iron batts within the wall 
thereof, that the great boards of ice, in time of thaw, may not offend it ; and 
it is so large that a regiment of horse may be exercised thereupon." 

From the above it appears to me that the Custom-House was 
then situated at the Broomielaw, and was removed from it in 
1757 and located at the foot of the Stockwell, as stated in Mr. 
Ross's letter. I think that Mr. Scott is correct in his opinion, 
that the Custom-House in question was not situated in the old 
building itself, but most probably in its wing or office, on the 
west side of it. This wing is shown in Stuart's View, and is two 
storeys in height, being sufficient for a warehouse, which, from Mr. 
Ross's letter, was required ; and the back court could give ample 
accommodation for his Majesty's " weights, beams, and triangles." 
£\2 appears a fair rent for such premises a century ago. 

The old building itself consisted of three storeys and attics 
(there being two windows in the roof), with fifteen windows 
fronting Stockwell Street ; such a building, therefore, was of much 
greater value than one of merely £12 of rent. Further, the 
Custom-House could not have been the small hut at the end of 
the bridge (marked X in the Plan), for it had no warehouse-room, 
nor space for weights and triangles, etc. ; neither could it have 


obtained a rent of £\2, seeing that in 1 574 the dues of the bridge 
were let by the Magistrates of Glasgow for the sum of 80 merks, 
or ;^4:8: lof sterling. This likewise shows that it could not 
then have been a Crown Custom- House, as such a trifling revenue 
could not have paid even the salary of a Government collector. 

The small hut at the bridge (marked in the Plan X) was 
evidently used merely for collecting the city dues exigible upon 
goods entering Glasgow, either landward or by the river ; and I 
think that there never was a Government Custom- House at the 
foot of the Stockwell before the year 1757. 

Coimcil Records, ist June i 574. — " Gift of the Brig. Tlie quhilk daye ya 
new gift gevin to ye brig and small casualties grantit yrto ar sett to Nicol 
Snodgers, for ye somm of four scour mks., money to be payit at the terms and 
the sit and wont, viz., at Michaelmas, Candilmes, and Beltane." 

The following advertisement will show what these customs 
were : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 24th April 1783. — "Notice — That the ladle dues, 
multures, dues of the tron, and weigh-house, flesh-market, wash-house, fish 
and potato market, and other common good belonging to the City of Glasgow, 
as also the pontage tolls and duties leviable on the Old and New Bridges at 
Glasgow, are to be set by public roup, within the Court Hall of the said City, 
upon Wednesday, the 14th day of May next, betwixt the hours of twelve and 
two of that day, for the space of one year. The articles of roup are to be 
seen in the hands of the town-clerk of Glasgow." 

Mr. Stuart, in his Views (page 55), has given us a pretty 
accurate drawing of the tenement in question, which he calls the 
" Old Custom-House," and he further says : — 

" This is an edifice of no trifling pretensions, and seems to have been 
reared with more than ordinary care and expense, as the appearance of its 
walls, both towards the street, and at the back, sufficiently testify : we have 
heard that this was anciently known as the Custom House, and it may not 
improbably be that which is mentioned in the Burgh Records as standing 
near the bridge in 1643." 

Mr. Stuart also in a note says : — 

" The site of the old Custom-House seems to have been occupied in 1487 
by a building, the property of Roberti Stewarde, prepositi, Glasguensis, and 
which we are informed stood adjoining to the Barres Yeth, (south port) on 


the west side of the street (vide ' Registratum Episcopatus Glasguensis.' 
Maitland Club, page 453). We are not confident, however, (adds Mr. 
Stuart) as to the site of the Barres Yeth." 

At one time, like Mr. Stuart, I thought the Barres Yeth was 
situated at the Old Bridge, but from the following quotation it 
will be seen that it stood at the foot of Saltmarket, and appears 
to have been the principal entry to the Green : — 

Burgh Records, 5th October 1574. — "It is statute and ordanit yat yir 
persones underwritten euery ane w.'. in ye gayts quhair yai duell pass oukhe 
thro.', ye samyn and taist ye aill browin w.'. in ye boundis limatit to yaim to 
se gif ye saymin be sufficient, accordyng to ye price taxt yairupon, and quha 
brewis yat are unfre, and to report ye saymin oukhe to ye Bailhes — 

" For ye Rattonraw and Drygate : 

Johne Dalrumpill — Johne Spreull. 
Frae ye Wyndheid to ye Blackfrers : 

Cuthbert Herbertson — Williame Rowat. 
Frae ye Blackfriers to ye Croce : 

Archibald Mure — Johne Taylof.. 
Frae ye Gallogate and Troyngate : 

Johne Woddrop — Johne Bell. 
Frae ye Cross to ye Nether Baraszett : 

Matthew Wilsoun — James Craig. 
Frae ye Baraszett to ye Brig and Stockwell : 

Johne Arbuckle — Johne Gilmo."!. 

"Item: — It is statute yat all owtintownes burgessis no.', dwelland w.'. in 
ye towne, sail pay custumes usit and wont of auld in ye towne except in tyme 
of fayris." 

The house of Provost Stewart mentioned in Stuart's Views 
must have been situated in the Saltmarket and not in Stockwell 
Street, seeing that it stood adjoining to the Barres Yeth. I 
remember a summer-house standing in a garden at the south- 
west corner of Saltmarket Street, which may have been on the 
site of Provost Stewart's house and garden. The Molendinar 
Burn, then a limpid stream, most probably formed the south 
boundary of the property. 

Our Glasgow historians have given us little information when 
the Water Dyke was built in addition to the gate at the bridge, 
nor have they stated the date when the name of " Water Port " 
first came to be applied generally to the port leading to the 


Broomielaw. The gate at the bridge is not called the Water 
Port in the early history of Glasgow ; its site, in fact, was origi- 
nally a part of the old Green or Great Western Common, and 
the site of the house alluded to by Mr. Stuart as standing at the 
foot of the Stockwell in 1528 was probably occupied at that time 
by three small cottages with their kailyards situated beyond 
the bounds of the city. At page 5 5 Mr. Stuart informs us as 
follows : — 

*' The earliest information we have been able to meet with in connection 
with this old house is contained in a legal document drawn up in i 599, from 
which it appears that the spot it occupies formed at that period a portion of 
the site of three small tenements, with adjacent inclosures, commonly known 
by the name of ' yeards.' These tenements having previously become ruinous, 
were, in the year 1668, disposed of to a Mr. John Caldwell, who had them 
demolished, and their places supplied by two edifices of better appearance and 
more respectable pretensions, which stood in juxtaposition, upon the line of 
the street. The one to the south was many years ago removed to make way 
for a modern erection : the other still braves the adverse assauUs of time, and 
is the house which forms the subject of this View." 

Mr. Stuart, in his Views of Glasgoiv (page 3), says that in 
1639 the Covenanters who opposed King Charles directed, 
amongst other matters, that "a wall should be built between 
the ' Light- House I and the * Custom -House,' and that a Port 
should be erected BETWIXT the Bridge and John Holme's 
house." Now it appears to me that Mr. Stuart has made some 
mistakes in this passage, and has drawn erroneous conclusions 
from the words of the original document, which are as follows : — 

Council Records, nth October 1639. — " Ordanit that ane dyke be built 
at Stockwall-heid, and ane Pont put therein, and to build ane dyke from the 
LiT-HouSE to the CUSTOME-HOUSE, in ane cumlie and decent forme, and with 
convenient diligence." 

Mr. Stuart has concluded that the words " ANE PoNT " meant 
" A Port," but I think that these words meant a bridge with an 
arch in it (derived from the French " un Pont").^ Again, Mr. 
Stuart construes the words "LIT -HOUSE" to mean a "LIGHT- 
HOUSE," whereas I am of opinion that they are intended to 
signify a " Dye- House." Jamieson, in his Scottish Dictionary, 

1 Neither Jfvmieson, Johnson, nor Bailey have the word " pont " in their Dictionaries. 


defines the word " LIT " as meaning " A Dye OR COLOUR," and 
in the Scotch Act of Parliament, James II. 6th March 1457, 
we find as follows, " That na ' litster ' by claith to sell." Item — 
" It is seen speedful that ' LIT ' be cryed and vsed, as it was 
wont to be, and that na LITSTER be draper, nor bye claith to 
sell againe, nor zit thoiled thereto vnder the paine of escheit." 

In the Burgh Records, 22d January 1573, David Howe, 
" litster" is stated to have become cautioner for John Campbell. 
From the above quotations I conjecture that the "LiT- HOUSE" 
mentioned in the Council Records of 1639 was a dyework, 
occupied as such by John Holmes in 1599, and sold to John 
Caldwell in 1668. The three small houses, with their kailyards, 
most likely being the dwelling and dyeworks of the above-men- 
tioned John Holmes; these premises standing conveniently situated 
adjacent to the river and to the Dowcot Green, commonly used 
by the public as a washing and bleaching place. 

There is no evidence of there ever having been a Lighthouse 
at the bridge in former times. If such a building had really 
existed, we would have found some notice taken of it in our old 
City Records. It may be further observed that the instructions 
in the Burgh Records of 1639 are "to build ane dyke at Stock- 
wall-heid, from the Lit-House to the Custome-House," consequently 
it is evident that the "Lit-House" and the Custom -House were 
two separate buildings, and that the Lit-House mentioned by Mr. 
Stuart could not have been the Custom-House of old, I do not 
think that a Crown Custom-House was ever situated near the 
Old Bridge before the year 1757, when one appears to have been 
rented there as stated by Mr. Ross. The error in supposing that 
a Crown Custom-House had anciently occupied this spot seems 
to have arisen from the circumstance of the city dues for goods 
coming into Glasgow by way of the bridge and by water having 
generally passed under the name of Customs, as the following 
notice shows : — 

Burgh Records, 21st August 1574. — "Item — Ye Prouest, Baillies, and 
Counsale, at my Lord of Glasgow's (Bishop's) requist hes supsedit ye small 
custom of ye brig, and dischargit ye saymn to be taen frae ye barronie men 
of Glasgw beyond ye quhile yai be feryer advysit." 


It will be seen in the small Plan of the bridge that there was 
a hut marked by a cross (X) placed at the north-west corner of the 
bridge, for receiving payment of these customs. This small house 
seems to have formed part of the west parapet wall of the bridge 
itself, and is joined to the Water Port wall, which, along with the 
wall across the bridge, and at the corner of the Bridgegate, closed 
the street from east to west except through the ports. 

I cannot reconcile the instructions of 1639, "to build ane 
dyke at Stockwall-heid from the Lit-House to the Custome-House," 
except by supposing that the Custom-House here alluded to was 
the small house at the bridge, where the city customs or common 
good were collected. (See Plan.) 

It appears from the following quotation that the Water Port 
did not exist in 1574, and it is probable that the three small 
tenements and their kailyards mentioned by Stuart as having 
been sold to Caldwell in 1668 formerly formed a barrier to any 
entrance to the city, by way of the Broomielaw, except the 
passage was made through the port at the bridge. 

In the year 1574 the plague, or pest, as it was called, 
raged in the eastern parts of Scotland, and on the 29th of 
October of that year there is the following entry in the Burgh 
Records : — 

" In ye first, it is statute and expressly inhibit and forbidden, yat na 
maner of persons, indvellars or yat comes furth of Leyt, Kircaldy, Dysart, 
Bruoonteland, quilkis ar ellis infectit and suspect of ye said pest, nor zit of 
ony wyer townes or places yat heireftir sal be suspect or fylit, presume to 
resont and travell to yis towne, or use trafficque with ye inhabitantes yeirof : 
And yat nane of ye inhabitantes of yis towne travell towart ony of ye saidis 
placis, or use ony kynd trafficque witht yame under ye pain of deid. 

" Item. It is statute and ordanit yat na maner of persones induellaris in 
this towne ressait in their houss ony maner stranger reparand yairto, except 
yat yai cum first to ye prouest and baillies, or yair deputtis, and put yair 
testimoniales, yat it may be knawin quhairfra yai cum. And that nane w!in 
yis towne ressaue ony person yat cumis about ye towne, or at yair backzardis ; 
and yat na induellar of yis towne enter bot at ye port and foirgate under ye 
paine of X"*" ilk fait, and yat ilk p'sone cloiss his awne zardend, as he will 
ans' on his lyf ; and gif ony beis apprehendit cumand about ye towne ye 
saymin to be tane and presonit and handlit as suspect persones." 

It is well known that Glasgow was never a fortified town, or 


surrounded by defensive walls ; but we see from the latter part of 
the above quotation that its inhabitants were required, at the 
peril of their lives, to keep their backyards constantly closed with 
some sufficient barrier or fence, so as to prevent ingress to the 
city, except through one of its ports. It therefore appears to 
me that previous to the year 1639, when the Covenanting parties 
in Glasgow ordered a wall or dyke to be built across the foot of 
the Stockwell, in order to defend the city from the Royalists, 
that John Holme's backyards (or lit-house grounds before men- 
tioned) being barricaded at their south extremity, there was then 
no access to the city from the present Clyde Street, except by 
way of the port at the bridge ; but when this dyke came to be 
built there were placed in it two ports or archways, one for 
carriages, and one for foot-passengers, by which travellers could 
pass and repass without going through the port at the bridge. 
As this entry led directly from the city to the river, and to the 
Broomielaw at St Enoch's Burn, it came to be known as the 
" Water Port." 

No mention is made in our city annals of there having been 
any port at the foot of Stockwell Street called " The Water Port" 
before the year 1639, when the said dyke was built. The small 
Plan of the bridge shows the dyke above referred to closing the 
street from east to west. Although of old all access to the city 
was closed except by the ports, nevertheless the passage along 
the banks of the river from the Broomielaw to the Green of 
Glasgow was perfectly open to the public, there being an arch of 
the bridge founded on dry land (commonly called a dry arch) 
through which carriages and cattle crossing the river by the 
Horse Ford could freely pass along the present East Clyde 
Street to the Broomielaw. 

It will be seen from the Plan that the Old Bridge was not 
built in a line with Stockwell Street, but at an angle, and evidently 
was originally constructed to suit the traffic passing by way of 
the Bridgegate, and not for the accommodation of that by the line 
of Stockwell Street. 

Bishop William Rae, who built the Old Bridge in 1345, came 
into the see in 1335, and died in 1367. There was a timber 


bridge over the Clyde, nearly on the same spot, in 1340, which 
appears to have gone into decay. 

Mr. Pagan, in Glasgow, Past and Present, vol. i., page 
188, has given us an extremely interesting account of the Old 
Bridge of Glasgow, on the occasion of its being demolished in 
1850, and has stated some curious details of its early aspect and 
revolutions (to which work I refer the readers) ; but notwith- 
standing that gentleman's general accuracy, he appears to have 
hastily taken for granted that the old house at the corner of the 
Stockwell was the Crown Custom-House of ancient times, where 
government dues used to be collected. At page 193 he says : 
" The ' Port,' or Custom-House, is universally represented as 
having been on the north side, and the queer old house standing 
at the bottom of Stockwell Street is said to have been the 
identical fabric used for that purpose." Mr. Pagan, in his 
Sketches] of Glasgow, at page 193, has given us a plate of the 
Old Bridge, including a representation of the queer old house in 
question, with its garden to the west. This plate also shows the 
horse road descending by a gradual slope from the said queer old 
house to the river ; and here I have frequently seen carters with 
their carts and horses, and grooms with their hunters, standing 
knee-deep in the water, giving the poor animals their fill of the 
then limpid stream of the Clyde, and cooling their weary limbs 
in the purling waters of the place. This watering-path was 
subsequently removed a little to the west, nearly opposite to the 
old town's hospital, and a timber bridge was erected over it across 
the wall of the breast, so as that there might be no interruption 
to passengers going along the said breast in their way to and 
from the Broomielaw. 

Mr. Pagan, at page 192 of Glasgow, Past and Present, 
informs us that — 

"At this period (1776) the original arches [of the Old Bridge] were all 
entire [see Plan], with the exception of the eighth, or the arch next the Gorbals, 
which fell on the 7th July 1671, one of the days of Glasgow Fair. . . . The 
two north arches, and the pier on the Glasgow side, were altogether removed, 
and the ground filled up. . . . They seem to have been what is termed ' dry 
arches,' and in all likelihood were only scoured by the Clyde when floods 
invaded the Bridgegate. 



" The third arch of the old structure, or the first arch as known to the 
present generation, was taken away and lowered four feet at the centre ; the 
second, third, and fourth arches remained untouched. . . . The fifth arch was 
taken down and lowered three feet six inches, and the sixth and last arch 
(that which had been previously rebuih) was also taken down and lowered five 
feet in the centre. At the same time this arch was taken in or lessened in the 
span to the extent of eleven feet. ... By all these operations the roadway of 
the Old Bridge was greatly lowered and vastly improved. The then summit 
level of the bridge-causeway, above the old low-water mark, was forty feet six 
inches. The bridge went up by a rapid slope from north to south, and at the 
Gorbals end the rise or gradient to be surmounted on coming upon the bridge 
was at the rate of i in 6|. That this terrible ascent existed there is not 
matter of doubt." 

We have no dates given here when these operations were 
executed, and not a word is said regarding the demolition of the 
ancient port at the bridge, nor of the small hut where of old the 
city dues were collected ; neither is there any notice taken of the 
removal of the wall or dyke which formed the Water Port. These 
structures, however, are objects almost as interesting as the Old 
Bridge itself. I think, however, that these last operations were 
principally made about the year 1778, as the following extract 
seems to indicate : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 4th June 1778. — "Yesterday the workmen began to 
remove the centres from below the additional part of the last arch of the Old 
Bridge. They proceeded in rather too precipitate a manner, by loosing the 
wedges on one side, so that the weight of those centres not slackened pre- 
ponderating, tumbled the whole over. A mason got one of his legs sorely 
crushed, but happily no other accident happened." 

It was during the time that these operations were proceeding, 
and while the bridge was receiving an addition of ten feet to its 
breadth on the east, that I crossed it from the Gorbals side in 
the spring of the year 1778. The east side of the bridge was 
then encumbered with stones and scaffolding; but the west side 
of it was kept open and free for foot-passengers, so that I walked 
along it with great ease and pleasure ; my little hand being then 
held by Miss Grizel Anderson, daughter of the Rev. William 
Anderson, the first minister of Gorbals, and the father of the late 
eminent Dr. William Anderson, physician in Glasgow. 

I distinctly remember the then state of the bridge itself, but 


I have no recollection of seeing any operations going on at the 
place where the port at the bridge and Water Port stood, the 
street appearing to me to be then free of buildings ; I therefore 
conclude that the above-mentioned ancient ports of the city had 
been demolished before the spring of 1778. Further, I do not 
remember of then seeing the small hut or house at the north- 
west corner of the bridge, where the city customs or dues were 
wont to be paid in former times. I think that it must have been 
demolished between the years 1776 and 1778, at the time when 
the two north arches of the bridge were removed, and when the 
street leading to the bridge came to be cleared of the port at the 
bridge and the Water Port dyke, and properly levelled to suit the 
altered gradients of the bridge. By referring to the small Plan 
of the bridge it will be seen that one of the above-mentioned 
arches was a blind arch, and the other partly so. 

I think it is probable that the different alterations and improve- 
ments which are stated to have been made upon the bridge 
shortly after the year 1776 were in the course of execution during 
the year 1777, being the year before I crossed the Old Bridge of 
Bishop Rae. The demolition of the ports, and the removal of 
the Water Port dyke, along with the levelling of the lower part 
of Stockwell Street, must have made a total change to the 
appearance of this part of Glasgow, more especially to the south 
part of Stockwell Street, and to the corner of the Bridgegate, by 
the said alterations giving an improved access to the bridge and 
to the river. 

The Old Bridge seems originally to have been built with due 
regard to the lives of passengers, for it will be seen from the sketch 
annexed to the present sheet that there were two recesses in it, 
on the east side, where in case of need, a passenger could take 
shelter from the caperings of skittish horses, or from the crush of 
two carts or carriages hastily crossing each other while going along 
the bridge. It must be remembered that the bridge was then 
only twelve feet wide, and had no trottoirs or side footpaths, such 
as grace the noble fabrics that now span our river. The sketch 
above mentioned was taken in the year 1765, and it would appear 
from the following quotation that the bridge at that time must 


have been in a state of great disrepair, otherwise the passage of 
carriages along it would not have been so strictly limited and 
discouraged : — 

Glasgow Journal, 4th April 1765. — "By order of the magistrates of the 
City of Glasgow : — The magistrates hereby intimate that for further preventing 
carts loaden or unloaden to pass the Bridge of Glasgow, they have caused put 
up a folding pole upon the said bridge, at the north end thereof: but in order 
to accommodate gentlemen and others passing along the said bridge in coaches 
and chaises, they have engaged a servant who is to lodge in the little house 
on the east side of, and immediately without the bridge, and on the north end 
thereof, and to be ready at all times, from five o'clock in the morning till 
eleven o'clock at night, to open the said folding pole. It is therefore expected 
that all gentlemen and others, having occasion to pass along the said bridge 
in coaches or chaises, will endeavour to make their time of passing the same 
betwixt the said hours of five o'clock of the morning and eleven at night ; but 
if necessity requires them to pass betwixt eleven at night, and five in the 
morning, they will order their servants to call at the said little house, on the 
east side of, and immediately without the bridge, and on the north end thereof, 
where they will find the said servant, who will open the pole to them." 

One is rather curious to know the names of the Magistrates 
who were so careful to exclude common carters and country 
farmers with their vehicles from passing the bridge, but neverthe- 
less were so condescending as to keep a servant for the express 
purpose of opening the pole at all times, and at all hours, to 
gentlemen and the other great folks travelling in their coaches 
and chaises. Here, then, are their names : — John Bowman, Lord 
Provost ; John Alston, Robert Donald, and George Buchanan, 
bailies ; Francis Crawfurd, convener (of whom more afterwards), 
Arthur Connell, dean of guild ; Robert Finlay, master of works ; 
Archibald M'Gilchrist and John Wilson, town-clerks. 

The shutting up of the Old Bridge in the above-mentioned 
manner gave great offence to the Rutherglen folks, as it prevented 
all access to Glasgow with common carts from their ancient 
burgh by the common highway, except the said carts took the 
route of crossing the river by the Dalmarnock Ford, or by the 
Horse Ford at the bridge. 

It must be remarked here that Rutherglen Bridge was not 
built till the year 1776. Thus, while Rutherglen was excluded 
from making use of the Bridge Port to enter Glasgow, the neigh- 


bouring burghs of Dumbarton and Renfrew and the town of 
Paisley had free access to the city both by the Water Port and 
by the West Port in Argyll Street. In this state of matters the 
Magistrates of Rutherglen commenced an action of damages 
against the Magistrates of Glasgow for having shut up the bridge 
in the manner above stated, and in this action they were joined 
by several parties connected with the lands on the south and west 
of the river ; but it does not appear that either the folks of Port- 
Glasgow or Greenock became parties to the suit. Perhaps the 
influence of the Glasgow Magistrates was then paramount in those 
towns. The Lord Ordinary in 1766 gave judgment in favour of 
the Magistrates of Rutherglen, by which the passage to Glasgow 
by the bridge was again laid open to the public ; but the Magis- 
trates of Glasgow reclaimed against this sentence of the Ordinary, 
and were about to bring the case before the Inner House, when, 
seeing the opposition so strong against them, they thought it best 
to acquiesce in the sentence of the Lord Ordinary, and to make 
the passage along the bridge free to all description of carriages, 
as it previously had been. 

It was probably this unsuccessful contest with the Magistrates 
of Rutherglen, and the general dissatisfaction of the public at the 
transaction, that induced the Magistrates of Glasgow elected for 
the ensuing term of 1766-7 to set about building the New Bridge 
at the foot of Jamaica Street. (The foundation of that bridge 
was laid on the 29th of September 1768, by Provost George 
Murdoch,^ Bailies James Buchanan, Peter Murdoch and James 
Clarke, but the bridge was not passable for carriages till 1772.) 
It is curious to see what a complete overturn had taken place 
with regard to our city officials by the new election at the above- 
mentioned term. The whole of the old authorities seem to have 
been set aside, and quite a new and liberal ministry formed to carry 
on our civic affiairs. It was during the time that the above gentle- 
men held office that the north-west burying-ground was formed. 

^ Provost George Murdoch while in office was presented to King George III. in 
London. His Majesty remarked that the Provost of Glasgow was the handsomest 
Scotchman he had ever seen. Among the preferments of the Scots Magazhie of October 
1 77 1 we find as follows: — "George Murdoch, Esq. and late provost of Glasgow, 
comptroller of the Customs at Port-Glasgow and Greenock." 


Water Port Dyke and extension of the Bridge — Ben Barton's House— The First Printer 
in Glasgow temp. 1638 — Removal of spikes for exhibition of heads of traitors — 
General Assembly in Glasgow in 1638 — The Crawfurds — The Mansion of the 
Campbells of Blythswood — Dillon's lawsuit with John Campbell of Blythswood — 
James Campbell and his creditors — ^James Rankin, Tobacconist — Speculation in 
tobacco in 1776 — Curious story of James Maxwell, Esq. — Flood in Briggate in 
1782 — Laughable story of David Dale's dinner-party in 1795. 

In the View of Glasgow drawn by Captain John Slezer of the 
Artillery Company during the reign of Charles II., there is no 
appearance of the dyke or port ordered to be built by the Cove- 
nanters in 1639. Slezer's Views were published at the latter end 
of the seventeenth century, but we do not know the date when 
they were sketched by him. We see, however, by the View in 
question that the port of the bridge extended quite across the 
public street, and must have been about twenty-five feet in height, 
as it reaches above the second storeys of the conterminous houses, 
and if the Water Port dyke had been only half of that height 
(which was quite sufficient for the purpose) it would have been 
concealed in the view by the intervening high wall of the Bridge 
Port. Judging by Slezer's View, and by the Sketch attached to 
the present sheets, I would be inclined to think that the Bridge 
Port, or carriage entry, by way of the Bridgegate, was then about 
six feet in width, or about one half of that of the bridge, which 
was quite adequate to the passage of ordinary carriages. As to 
the height of the said carriage entry, judging again from Slezer's 
View, I would conclude that it must have been at least fifteen feet 
from the causeway to the crown of the arch. There still remains 


one house in East Clyde Street, depicted by Slezer, with its Dutch 
front and corby steps. 

After the alterations made upon the bridge in 1778 had been 
finished, it appears that the tenement immediately joining the 
bridge on the north-east was converted into an inn for the 
accommodation of travellers, as the following notice, taken from a 
Glasgow newspaper, shows : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 19th August 1784. — " Peremptorily to be sold, upon 
Friday the 20th of August current. All and Haill, that tenement of land lying 
on the south side of the Bridgegate, and immediately to the east of the bridge, 
with the stables, cellars, and other offices, belonging to the deceast William 
Lorimer, stabler in Glasgow. Articles of roup, &c., to be seen." 

The sketch of the bridge herewith given, unfortunately, does 
not reach the termination of the roadway at the Main Street of 
Gorbals, but I have a distinct recollection of its appearance in 
1778, also subsequently to that time. The alterations then 
made upon the roadway were not very extensive, as may be seen 
from the map of Glasgow, of 1783, in Mr. Stuart's Views. The 
bridge extended about seventy feet southward along the Main 
Street of Gorbals, but it was merely a dead wall without arches. 
On the west side of it there was a pretty large tenement which 
fronted the river on the north, joined the bridge on the east, and 
on the south it faced a public footpath, leading toward the New 
Bridge, so that it excluded all direct passage from the bridge 
along the margin of the river. This tenement is very clearly 
laid down on the map of 1783, in Stuart's Views, and is there 
exhibited with a court in the centre. It seems to have been let 
as an inn at the time when the alterations on the bridge were in 
progress, as the following notice shows : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 14th May 1778. — "To be let, and to be entered at the 
term of Whitsunday, that large inn, stable, and others in the suburbs of Glasgow, 
fronting the river Clyde, at the end of the Old Bridge, as presently possessed 
by George Paton at the Spread Eagle. — Apply to Ben. Barton, writer in 
Glasgow. " 

It appears that this building, if it had again been let as a 
place of entertainment for travellers, had not met as such with 
much success, for wc find that soon afterwards it had been turned 



into a shop or shops, and even then the same want of success 
seems to have attended its course, as the following advertisement 
shows : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 17th July 1783. — "Notice, that the well frequented 
shop, lying at the end of the Old Bridge, Gorbals of Glasgow, lately pos- 
sessed by Mr. James Stevenson, is to be let. Entrance may be had im- 
mediately thereto. And about £,']o of hardware and grocery goods, laid in 
from the best markets, are to be disposed of The shop is well finished, and 
will be very suitable for a young man beginning business. Any person inclining 
to make a purchase of the goods, as an inducement thereto, upon finding 
security, a reasonable credit will be given. — For further particulars inquire at 
the publishers." 

The property m question appears at this time to have passed 
from the hands of our old commissary-clerk, Ben. Barton, and its 
site ultimately to have been occupied by the toll house. 

In 1 82 1 there was a second addition made to the width of 
the bridge by the erection of ornamental iron footpaths, one on 
each side of the bridge ; while the whole extent of twelve feet, as 
formerly, was appropriated for carriages in the centre of the 

In Glasgoiv, Past and Present, vol. i. p. 188, there will be 
found an interesting account of the demolition of the Old Bridge 
of Glasgow in 1850, and of the appearances of its original 
foundations in the river, which truly verify the sagacious and 
recondite remark of Dr. Cleland, when commencing to elucidate 
the history of our bridges, in his Rise and Progress of Glasgoiv, 
p. 53. The learned Doctor thus begins: — 

<' Bridges are a sort of edifices very difficult to execute, on account of the 
inconvenience of laying foundations and walling under water." 

Mr. Pagan, however, informs us, at p. 189, that — 

" The foundations of the old structure have been laid in a very simple 
manner. Instead of driving down piles, as would be done in ihe present day, 
the ancient masons, from the remains still visible, seem to have thrust in a 
quantity of green paling stobs, to give cohesion to the sand, and afford a re- 
gular bed." 

With regard to the remains of Ben. Barton's house, before 
alluded to, it is stated that — 


" Mr. York has just excavated the wall of an old house which stands within 
three or four feet to the westward of the bridge on the Gorbals side. There 
is a little window 2 ft. 2 in. in width by 2 ft. 10 in. in height, by which those in 
the interior could scan the passengers who descended from the bridge. There 
are still remaining the jambs of the large fireplace, constructed, as in old times, 
with four courses of stone on the one side and three on the other, instead of 
being done up on each side with one large slab, as is the custom at the 
present day. The wall is 2 ft. 4 in. in thickness, and 24 ft. in length, showing 
that the house of which it formed a part must have been of considerable 
dimensions. The rubble has been partly removed from the outer side of the 
wall, but in the inner part of the house the plaster still firmly adheres. What 
manner of dwelling this was, no man can tell." 

There, however, seems to be a mistake in this last remark 
regarding the said structure, as our old commissary-clerk, Ben. 
Barton, has left us an advertisement, as before quoted, which 
shows the purposes for which it had been erected, viz. The Spread 
Eagle Inn. 

My authority thus continues : — 

" This Gorbals concern we take therefore to have been a public or a 
change house. It was well situated for the purpose, being among the first 
that country people from the south would reach on approaching the city, and 
the last at which they could be entertained, or treat their friends, on leaving it. 
These old walls doubtless have seen many a merry scene of jollity, love- 
making, bargaining, polemics, and perhaps strife." 

At the south-east or opposite corner of the bridge there was 
a retaining wall upon the level of the street, which by a gradual 
slope from the main street descended to the river, and formed 
the west boundary of a lane leading to the Horse Ford, which 
ford is represented in the sketch of the bridge. This retaining 
wall was merely a breast, and had no parapet ; consequently it 
was very dangerous at night to passengers. In my juvenile days 
I have frequently jumped from it to the lane below, as a short 
cut to the Blind Burn, then a favourite place for bathing. On 
the east side of the said lane were situated the dwelling-house 
and workshop of Mr. Mann, a celebrated gunsmith of Glasgow ; 
but there were no buildings between Mr. Mann's house and the 
Blind Burn, the whole of Hutchesontown being then arable lands. 
The Blind Burn formed the east boundary of the Gorbals grounds. 

Mr. Stuart, in his Vi{:ws of Glasgow, p. 3, does not seem to 


have been aware that the port at the bridge and the Water Port 
were two separate and distinct ports ; and appears to have thought 
that the wall or dyke ordered to be built at the " Stockwell heid " 
by the adherents to the second " Covenant," in order to strengthen 
themselves against the soldiers of King Charles I., was the sole 
south port to the city in 1639 ; whereas it was only an addition 
to the ancient port at the bridge, as before mentioned. 

Dr. Cleland, in his Annals of Glasgow, has given us no account 
when the Water Port was constructed ; and he, as well as our 
other Glasgow historians, appears to have considered the port at 
the bridge and the Water Port to have been one and the same 
port ; but by looking at the sketch of the bridge hereto annexed 
it will be seen that there were two distinct ports at the foot of 
Stockwell Street in 1760, being before the Water Port with its 
two entries was taken down. This dyke and port, as already 
mentioned, having been erected by the Covenanting party of the 
General Assembly in 1638, the state of parties at that time ran 
so high that little notice has been handed down to us of matters 
regarding our city affairs of that date except what had reference 
to Covenanting doings. 

From a history of the art of printing in Glasgow we learn 
that previous to the year 1638 there had been no printer in 
Glasgow ; but in that year a person of the name of George 
Anderson was induced to commence printing in Glasgow, in 
consequence, it was said, of receiving a salary from the Magistrates. 
His publications, however, appear to have been confined to 
pamphlets relating to the troubles before the commencement of 
the Civil War, and to Covenanting meetings, and not to matters 
especially connected with Glasgow statistics. The following is 
believed to have been the first work published in Glasgow : — 

" The Protestation of the Generall AssembHe of the Church of Scotland, 
and of the Noblemen, barons, gentlemen, borrowes, ministers and commons : 
subscribers of the covenant, lately renewed, made in the high kirk, and at the 
mercate crosse of Glasgow, the 28. and 29. of November 1638." 

" Printed at Glasgow by George Anderson in the year of grace 1638." 

George Anderson appears to have died in the year 1648, and 
for ten years after his death there does not seem to have been 


any printer in Glasgow. In 1655 Principal Baillie, wishing to 
get one of George Anderson's pamphlets republished, found it 
necessary to resort to London for a printer ; but in 1658 Andrew 
Anderson, the son of the said George Anderson, began printing 
in Glasgow, but he left Glasgow in 1661, and became printer in 

It is curious here to observe to what lengths religious bigotry 
will sometimes carry even well-disposed persons, and cause them 
to sanction as a duty many things which appear quite barbarous 
and shocking to the feelings of the generality of mankind. It 
will be seen by the following extract that the Covenanters then 
ruling our city, as alluded to by Mr. Stuart, had directed a wall 
at the cross to be taken down, and translated to the Stockwell, 
and a " heid " thereon to be put on the " said new wall on Stock- 
well gait": — 

Council Records, nth August 1638. — "The Council ordains 50 pounds 
to be paid to John Boyd, for translating of the Stockwall of the Hie Street 
[Trongate] and setting the sawyer down in ane uther plaice, and for taking 
down ane wall at the Croce, covering the same in, and for translaiting the 
' heid ' that was thereon, and setting it on the said new wall on the Stockwall 

I remember very well of the iron spikes which were inserted 
in the present Cross steeple, for the purpose of exhibiting the 
ghastly heads of unfortunate traitors and Papists. These spikes 
were placed on the north wall of the steeple, so that the said 
heads might be seen to the greatest advantage from the High 
Street, then the leading thoroughfare of the city. 

The head which was translated to the Stockwell from the 
Cross in 1638 was probably that of some unhappy Papist or 
Jesuit, whom the Covenanters regarded with the utmost horror 
as imps of Satan. In revenge for this and for the like barbarities 
perpetrated by the Covenanters, the Royalists, when they became 
masters, ordered the head of the godly and reverend James Guthrie 
to be put on the Netherbow Port of Edinburgh in 1 66 1 ; and the 
head of Lord Warriston, another Covenanting leader, to be placed 
on the wall of the same port. (See Woodrow, ist, 57, 1741.) 

It was probably by orders of the celebrated General Assembly 


of Scotland, which met in Glasgow on the 21st of November 
1638, that the Water Port dyke was ordered to be constructed. 
This Assembly consisted of a vast concourse of influential people, 
almost all the nobility and gentry of Scotland being present either 
as elders or assessors. They declared the whole Acts of the 
Assembly passed since the accession of James to the throne of 
England to be null and void, all the bishops were deposed and 
excommunicated, Episcopacy and the Liturgy abolished, and every 
person ordered to subscribe the Covenant under the pain of 
excommunication. These resolutions were confirmed when the 
Parliament met in 1639, and war was then declared by the 
Covenanters against the adherents of Charles. There seems to be 
little doubt, therefore, but the Water Port dyke was built in that 
year, as a defence to the city in case of an attack being made on 
it by the Royal forces. 

Although it appears by the letter of Mr. Ross (before quoted) 
that the Crown rented part of the queer old tenement at the foot 
of Stockwell Street as a Custom-House in 1757, nevertheless it 
seems to have been situated in the wing of the said old house, and 
not in the ancient building itself, as at this date the premises in 
question formed the mansion-house and property of Francis Craw- 
furd, Esq., an extensive timber merchant in Glasgow, whose offices 
and garden extended westward to the property cf Bailie Craig of 
the Water Port, as may be seen in the first plate of Denholm's 
History of Glasgow. Shortly before this building was taken down 
to make room for the Victoria erections, the west part of it was 
occupied by Mr. William M'Cue, as a poultry and provision store. 
It was in this ancient fabric that Mr. Francis Crawfurd's son, the 
late George Crawfurd, Esq., writer, was born in the year 1756, 
being the year before the Crown rented any part of the said 
premises. Mr. Francis Crawfurd was Convener of the Trades in 
1765, and died in that year while in office, as the following notice 
shows : — 

Glasgow Journal, 5th December 1765. — "On Saturday, Mr. Francis 
Crawfurd, Convener of the Trades of Glasgow, was interred in the High 
Church yard. On this occasion all the different corporations walked in 
procession, each trade by itself, attended by their officers." 


There is a singular circumstance attending Convener Craw- 
furd's family. Mr. Crawfurd had no less than twenty-two children, 
of whom, I believe, the late George Crawfurd, Esq., writer, was the 
youngest. Of all that numerous progeny, not one of them is 
knov/n to be now alive, and none of them have left any descendants, 
except the said late George Crawfurd, Esq., writer, whose only son, 
the present George Crawfurd, Esq., Justice of Peace Clerk, now 
represents this old Glasgow family. Mr. Robert M'Lintock, the 
maternal grandfather of the present George Crawfurd, was the 
founder of the Merchant Bank of Glasgow, and signed the notes 
of that bank when first issued. 

The next house to Convener Crawfurd's was that of Bailie 
John Craig, whose son. Bailie William Craig of the Water Port 
(who died in 1804), was well known to most of our Glasgow 
octogenarians. Bailie William Craig served his apprenticeship 
with Mr. Francis Crawfurd, and afterwards became his partner, the 
firm being Crawfurd and Craig. Their timber-yard was situated 
in the Bridgegate, being the large yard attached to the Merchants' 
House. It is thus described in an old paper, which I have seen, 
dated 1766 : — 

" The yard in the Bridgegate, belonging to the Merchants' House, was set 
by tack to Francis Crawfurd and WiUiam Craig, for ten years, after Whitsunday 
1 76 1, at the yearly rent of £6 6s. sterling. The said yard has two entries, the 
one next the Clyde being a cart entry, and the other next to the Bridgegate a 
narrow passage, and not fit for a cart. The said yard is well enclosed with a 
stone dyke, and contains i6oo§ yards, superficial measure." (See the Sketch.) 

In 1817 the Merchants' House sold this yard and their other 
property in this part of the Bridgegate to William and James 
Carswell for £y$oo, who erected thereon the present buildings 
called Guildry Court. The steeple, however, was reserved. After 
the expiry of the lease of 1761, Bailie William Craig removed his 
timber-yard and joiner workshops to Great Clyde Street, behind 
his dwelling-house ; and in 1 790 he again changed the site of his 
yard and works to Jackson Street, which street had shortly before 
been opened by Mr. Jackson of the Theatre Royal. 

The most remarkable old tenement (which still remains) in the 
Bridgegate is the mansion-house of the Campbells of Blythswood, 


with what was once its large garden extending southward toward 
the river, as is shown in the annexed sketch. 

This ancient building was probably erected about two centuries 
ago, and originally consisted of two houses, which afterwards came 
to be united so as to form a single dwelling-house. On the 13th 
of December 1739, Colin Campbell, Esq., of Blythswood, executed 
a strict entail of all his heritable properties, including the said 
Bridgegate mansion-house and garden. 

The last of the Blythswood Campbells who resided in the 
Bridgegate was James Campbell, Esq., the father of our late 
member of Parliament, Major Archibald Campbell. Mr, James 
Campbell, being rather short of cash, let his large garden to David 
Lillie, Wright, as a timber-yard, at the yearly rent of £^ ; but 
thinking that he could get a little more of the needful by dividing 
the garden into lots, he in 1770 parcelled it out into three parts, 
granting leases of nineteen years, with breaks at seven years : first, 
to Mr. John Robertson, a cooper ; second, to Mr. William Martin, 
a Wright ; and third, to Mr. Linn Dillon, a plasterer. In the 
leases granted to these tenants (whose descendants, I believe, are 
still in Glasgow) he designed himself heritable proprietor of the yard 
after mentioned ; and the stipulated rent in all was ;^20. None 
of the above tenants were aware that Mr. James Campbell was 
only a liferenter of the subjects ; but believing him to have had an 
absolute right therein as heritable proprietor, they proceeded to 
make erections on their respective lots, under the faith of the 
following clauses in their leases : — 

*' And with liberty to erect shades or other buildings thereupon, and the 
landlord, at the end of this tack, to pay the value of the said shades and 
buildings, as the same shall be ascertained by two persons, to be mutually 
chosen by the parties." 

Mr. Robertson erected a dwelling-house, with offices and 
workshops, on his lot, in value about ;^300 ; and Mr. Dillon did 
the same on his lot also, of like value ; but Mr. Martin in his 
lease having taken part of Mr. Campbell's house, had no occasion 
to erect expensive buildings on his lot, but only shades and work- 
shops. All these erections were executed with the consent and 
under the eye of Mr. Campbell himself 


James Campbell of Blythswood, after a lingering illness of 
nine months, died on the 8th January 1773, leaving little or no 
real or personal estate after sick-bed and funeral expenses were 
defrayed. His eldest son, John, afterwards Colonel Campbell, 
succeeded to the Blythswood entailed estates, to whom the above- 
mentioned tenants regularly paid the rents of the subjects, in 
conformity with the terms of their respective leases. In 1776 Mr. 
Dillon, having entered into another line of business, gave regular 
intimation to Colonel Campbell that he was going to quit the 
subjects and give up the tack at the break of seven years, and 
again did the same, in proper legal form, at Whitsunday 1777, 
when the first seven years of the tack had expired, at the same 
time requesting a proper person to be named in order to ascertain 
the value of the buildings, so that the amount thereof might be 
paid to him as especially provided by the terms of the tack. 

Colonel Campbell having returned no answer to Mr. Dillon, 
the latter raised an action in the Court of Session upon the tack, 
concluding against Colonel Campbell for ;^300, as the value of 
the buildings erected on Blythswood grounds under the faith of 
the said tack. The result of this action was unfortunate to poor 
Dillon, the Court, after long litigation, having found that Colonel 
John Campbell, being merely heir of entail in the said estate, 
*'does not represent the late Blythswood in any other manner." 
Dillon's case, of course, decided the two others, and thus Colonel 
John Campbell got all the back erections on his Bridgegate 
garden for nothing, contrary to the boasted legal apophthegm, 
" Nemo debet locuplateri aliena jactura." (For the particulars 
of Dillon's case, see Glasgoiv, Past and Present, vol. i. p. 324.) 
Colonel John Campbell was a remarkably handsome man. I 
remember him very well walking the Trongate of Glasgow with 
a fine military step ; but he was careless about his dress, for his 
white silk stockings used to be dangling loose about his ankles 
in all weathers. He was killed in Martinico in 1794, and was 
succeeded by his brother Archibald, our late M-.P., then Captain 
Campbell, and a prisoner at Toulon, where the news reached 
him of his having succeeded to the large entailed estates of 


About sixty years ago Archibald Campbell, M.P., obtained 
powers to purchase the annexation lands of Blythswood Holm, 
now in the heart of Glasgow, and also the Bridgegate family 
mansion and garden at a valued price under trustees, who were 
taken bound to lay out the said price in other lands to be substi- 
tuted for the annexation lands and family burgage property, to 
be entailed in strict conformity with the terms of the original 
deed of 1739. In the year 1802 Archibald Campbell, M.P. 
(then Major Campbell), sold the Bridgegate mansion-house with 
all the back buildings before mentioned, which had been erected 
in the garden or yard by Robertson, Martin, and Dillon, under 
the terms of their leases. 

James Campbell of Blythswood, the father of Colonel John 
and Major Archibald Campbell, was married to Henrietta, daughter 
of James Dunlop of Garnkirk (she died in 1788), by whom he 
had three sons and five daughters, viz. — ist, Colonel John; 2d, 
Major Archibald, our late M.P. ; 3d, James, who died a lieutenant 
in the 55th regiment, while in Antigua; 4th, Henrietta; 5th, 
Agnes ; 6th, Grace ; 7th, Janet ; and 8th, Mary. With the 
exception of John, who succeeded to the entailed estates of 
Blythswood, this large family were left totally unprovided for, 
James Campbell the father having died involved in debt and 
quite msolvent, as the following advertisements show : — 

Glasgow Journal, 1 6th November 1775. — "Notice — To the creditors of 
the deceased James Campbell of Blythswood, Esq. Such creditors of Mr. 
Campbell as have lately obtained a Decree of Constitution of their debts 
before the Commissary of Hamilton and Campsie are requested to meet by 
themselves, or agents properly authorised, within the house of William 
Thompson, vintner, at the Cross of Glasgow, on Wednesday the 29th Nov- 
ember inst., between the hours of one and two o'clock, mid-day, in order 
to concert measures for recovering payment of their several debts, certifying 
such creditors who shall not then attend, or pay the charge necessary for 
prosecuting these measures, that they will not be entitled to any benefit that 
may arise from prosecution." 

Glasgow Mercury, ist January 1784. — "Notice — To the creditors of the 
deceased James Campbell of Blythswood, Esq. That in process of Rank- 
ing and Sale depending before the Lords of Council and Session, at the 
instance of James Hepburn of Humbie, and James Somerville, apparent heirs 
of line of the said James Campbell, a commission has been granted to 
John Wilson, junior, writer in Glasgow, for the creditors, deponing to the 


verity of their debts. This intimation, therefore, is given to such of the said 
creditors, and to the representatives of such of them as are deceased, who 
obtained a decree of constitution of their debts before the Commissary of Hamil- 
ton and Campsie in the month of August, 1774, to appear before the said 
John Wilson, with whom the above decree lyes, and to depone to the verity 
of their debts as soon as possible." 

Glasgow Mercury, 28th September 1790. — "Notice — To the creditors 
of the late James Campbell of Blythswood, Esq. John Jafifrey, late watch- 
maker in Glasgow, now in Stirling, to whom certain creditors of the said James 
Campbell indorsed for behoof of their claims, having now recovered a dividend 
from the price of the unentailed lands of the said James Campbell, those 
creditors or their representatives will call on John Wilson, one of the Town 
Clerks of Glasgow, to receive their dividends and sign a discharge. The divi- 
dends will be paid at Mr. Wilson's Writing Office, foot of Saltmarket, on 
Fridays and Wednesdays, from eleven o'clock forenoon till one o'clock after- 
noon, from Friday the first of October next. And as several of Mr. Jaffrey's con- 
stituents were cut off by the Court of Session from a dividend, by reason of 
their having neglected to depone to the verity of their debts, in order to save 
unnecessary trouble, and to give notice to those who are entitled to receive 
dividends, there is hereunto annexed a list of the creditors, his constituents, 
now entitled to receive dividends, viz. — Alexander Bannatyne, seedsman, 
Glasgow ; William Purdon, tenant Woodside ; Robert M'Lintock, senior, 
merchant, Glasgow f Will. Swan, smith and ferrier, Renfrew ; James Park, 
shoemaker, there ; Robert Brand, vintner, there ; George Paterson, smith, 
there ; Thomas Brown, mason, there ; Matthew Burn, at Blackball ; John 
Ritchie, wright, Renfrew ; William Balcanquhal, corkcutter, Glasgow ; Edward 
Collins & Co., bleachers, Dalmuir ; Andrew Ramsay, merchant, Glasgow ; 
Casper Clawson, South Sugar House, there ; A. and H. Blackburns, mer- 
chants, there ; William Boreland, weaver. Paisley ; William Tassie, glover in 
Glasgow ; James Watson, staymaker, there ; Archibald Campbell of Succoth, 
Esq. ; John Brown, cooper, Renfrew ; William Campbell, butcher. Paisley ; 
Alexander Nasmith, wright, there ; John Christie, merchant, there ; Thomas 
Crichton, there ; Hamilton and M'Farlane, merchants, Glasgow ; Shortridge 
and Martin, merchants, there ; John M'Aslan, gardener, there ; James Clerk 
and Arthur Robertson, merchants, there ; John Mitchell, nurseryman, Renfrew; 
Patrick Croo, slater, Paisley ; Michael Bogl and Scott, merchants, Glasgow ; 
James Philips & Co., manufacturers. Paisley; Thomas Manfod, wright, there; 
John Robertson, mason, Renfrew ; Janet Hume, milliner, Glasgow ; Buchanan 
and Crawfords, merchants, there ; Alexander Spiers, merchant, there ; John 
Brock, mason, Cowcaddens ; Hugh Niven, merchant, Glasgow ; Robert King, 
hosier. Port - Glasgow ; Elizabeth Graham, residenter in Glasgow; Carre, 
Ibetson & Co., merchants, London ; John Anderson in Blewarthill ; Home 
and Cleghorn, coachmakers, Edinburgh ; Walter Macfarlane, wine merchant, 
there ; John Wilson, late town clerk of Glasgow ; and Mrs. Lionell Walkin- 
shaw, relict of William Walkinshaw, late ship master in Port-Glasgow. 
" Not to be repeated." 


From the foregoing notices it appears that several of Mr. 
Campbell's creditors had made no claims against his estate. 
These were probably creditors who had supplied the family with 
furnishings either for the person or for the table, which descrip- 
tion of furnishings being generally paid in full by the persons 
succeeding to large entailed estates, the said creditors might have 
expected that Colonel John Campbell, having succeeded to an 
entailed estate of two thousand per annum, would have paid such 
family debts in full, according to use and wont. 

Among the list of creditors we do not see a tailor. This 
tradesman probably rendered Colonel John and his two brothers 
separate accounts for their respective habiliments, and so may 
have got paid ; but we find an unhappy milliner on the list, 
whose account against so many ladies must have been pretty 
heavy. There also shine among the family furnishing creditors 
a staymaker, hosier, shoemaker, and glover. 

With regard to the creditors supplying the family with vivers, 
we do not see any grocer in the list ; but several of those enume- 
rated in it called "merchants there" were in fact, tea dealers, 
grocers, and general merchants. Sugar seems to have been 
supplied by Casper Clawson of the South Sugar-house ; and we 
have the coachmaker, also wrights, masons, coopers, smiths, and 
ferriers for jobbings, besides a poor Paisley weaver, no doubt a 
creditor for weaving some house-made shirtings or sheetings, and 
Collins of Dalmuir for bleaching the same. Mr. James Campbell 
appears to have got his wines from Edinburgh but his corks in 
Glasgow ; perhaps he paid ready money for his bottles. There 
is a gardener in the list for vegetables and garden seeds, viz. Bailie 
John M'Aslan ; and as for milk, butter, and cheese, these farm 
productions were most likely supplied from the dairies of Mr, 
Purdon of Woodside, and of Mr, Burn of Blackball. There is 
also in the list that very necessary furnisher of family wants " a 
butcher;" but what has become of "the baker," the most import- 
ant personage of them all, as to vivers hot rolls to breakfast, 
quartern loaves to dinner, cookies, short-bread, and "Bell Gordons"^ 

1 " Bell Gordon" is shortbread with large sweeties baked upon its upper surface. The 
term is a coiTuption of the French phrase "Belle Guerdonne" — "A handsome reward." 


to tea, to say nothing of piping hot penny pies to supper, for such 
a large family as that of Mr. Campbell would form no small item 
of household expenditure. The late James Rankin, Esq., tobac- 
conist, however, explained to me how there came to be no baker 
among the creditors of Mr. Campbell in the foregoing published 
list of them. Mr. Rankin said that he was appointed executor 
upon the estate of a deceased baker, in whose book there stood 
an account of upwards of £ioo against the Blythswood family 
for bread furnished to them during the lifetime of James Camp- 
bell. The said baker alleged that Colonel John, his two brothers, 
and five sisters, having all intromitted art and part in the act of 
consuming his bread, he therefore considered that they were all 
and each of them liable to him for the debt, " singuli in solidum," 
as the lawyers say. The baker's demand on the family, however, 
was repudiated by them, and shortly after the baker died, in 
consequence of which the matter lay over. Mr. Rankin told me 
that he several times attempted to get payment of this debt from 
the Blythswood family, but without success. It was thought, 
however, that Major Archibald on succeeding to the Blythswood 
estates, would have discharged the debt if he had been applied to 
in a gentle and courteous manner, but that he considered the 
demand had been made upon him in a bullying and threatening 
style, which he was resolved to resist. 

Mr. James Rankin's dwelling-house, shop, and tobacco manu- 
factory were situated in the Bridgegate, immediately opposite to 
the Blythswood mansion-house. His father, John Rankin, is taken 
notice of by M'Ure as being the proprietor of these premises in 
1736, and then carrying on the business of a tobacconist. There 
was a large garden behind the tobacco manufactory, lying between 
the Old and the New Wynds, at the north end of which there 
stood a neat summer-house, where tea entertainments were occa- 
sionally given during the summer season by the Rankin family, 
even down to my day. 

In the annexed sketch there is a large vacant space of ground 
shown between the two wynds ; but I think that this space was 
not wholly Mr. Rankin's property, but that it included Mr. Urie's 
cooperage. The Irish have now got possession of this once rural 


spot, and of late it has become a place of some notoriety, in con- 
sequence of Mr. James Fleming, of the celebrated M'Lachlan case, 
having been accustomed to resort there every week, for the purpose 
of collecting the rents due by the tenants to the Rankin family. 
This duty Mr. Fleming performed in a manner most satisfactory 
to Mr. Rankin's heirs. Mr. James Rankin mentioned rather a 
singular circumstance to me regarding his father's family. He 
said that if his eldest brother had been then alive he would 
have been 120 years of age, there being upwards of sixty years 
of difference between the ages of the brothers. Of course they 
were by different mothers. At the death of Mr. Rankin's father, 
his widow (Mr. James Rankin's mother) continued to carry on the 
tobacco business for behoof of the family, which she did to their 
great advantage. When the American War of Independence 
broke out about 1776, tobacco, from 3d. per pound, suddenly rose 
to 6d. per pound. On this occasion Mr. William Cuninghame 
(who built the original house of the Royal Exchange) called on 
Mrs. Rankin, as a friend and an old acquaintance of the family, 
and strongly advised her to lay in a stock of tobacco forthwith, as 
he was sure that there would be a still greater rise of the tobacco 
market. Mrs. Rankin, however, hesitated to speculate upon an 
article which had already risen to double of the ordinary price. 
Mr. Cunningham, notwithstanding her objections, still urged her 
to purchase a few hogsheads, when she at last rather unwillingly 
agreed to buy one hogshead, but she refused to venture on any 
greater purchase, considering the risk to be too great. She had 
scarcely concluded the bargain when tobacco rose to gd. per 
pound, then to is. and thus continued to rise step by step, till at 
length it reached the extraordinary price of 3s. 6d. per pound ; 
so that ultimately, by manufacturing this single hogshead of 
tobacco, Mrs. Rankin cleared ;^i5oo. Mrs. Rankin's eldest 
daughter, Janet (sister-german of Mr. James Rankin), was married 
to Humphrey Ewing, Esq., the brother of Walter Ewing Maclae, 
Esq., of Cathkin, and uncle to James Ewing, Esq., of Strathleven. 
Since I have got amongst those old gossiping stories of Bridge- 
gate matters, I shall mention another that was current in my 
younger days, the truth of which, however, I cannot vouch for, as 


it occurred before my time; I can only say that it was commonly 
received as a fact by the folks of Glasgow some seventy or eighty 
years ago. I have already stated that James Campbell of Blyths- 
wood had let his garden or yard in the Bridgegate to David 
Lillie, a wright, who was deacon of the craft in 1772. Mr. Lillie 
was also an extensive builder. About this time, or shortly after, 
James Maxwell, Esq., the grandfather of the present Sir John 
Maxwell of Pollok, being then a young man, and having no 
expectation of succeeding to the Pollok estates, resolved to go 
out to St. Christopher, and settle in that island as a planter. 
Preparatory, however, to going there he thought it would be of 
great service to him to get lessons as a joiner, so that he might 
be able to show the slaves upon any estate that he might acquire 
how to handle the saw and the plane. Accordingly, he applied 
to David Lillie to be admitted to his shop as one of his operatives, 
and there he sedulously worked at the bench for a considerable 
time among Mr. Lillie's journeymen, till he became an expert 
joiner, and was familiarly addressed by his fellow-workmen as 
"Jemmy Maxwell." 

At the time when Mr. Maxwell was thus working at the bench 
in Mr. Lillie's shop there were two individuals between him and 
the Pollok estates, viz. Sir Walter Maxwell of Pollok and his son 
John, so that Mr. James Maxwell felt that he must depend upon 
his own exertions for rising in the world ; but providence inter- 
fered in his favour, and ordered matters otherwise. Sir Walter 
Pollok died in 1761, and in nine short weeks thereafter Sir John, 
his only son, followed his father to that place from whence none 
return ; and so Mr. Maxwell, as next heir, succeeded to the estates 
of Pollok, and became Sir James Maxwell of Nether Pollok. Sir 
James Maxwell, after succeeding to the Pollok estates, took a 
great interest in the affairs of the city of Glasgow, and was a 
leading man in all public measures tending to benefit its citizens. 
In 1782 he became the head partner of the Thistle Bank, the 
firm being " James Maxwell, James Ritchie, and Company." 
Such, then, was the gossiping story of my younger days regarding 
Sir James Maxwell of Pollok. 

In an article published in the Glasgow Herald some years ago 


I stated that I was present in the year 1782 when the great flood 
of the Clyde overflowed the whole of the lower parts of the city, 
and that I beheld boats navigating the Bridgegate, and ascending 
King Street above the markets, to the great wonder and terror of 
the inhabitants.^ On the i8th of November 1795, a similar 
flood occurred of nearly an equal magnitude, and quite as destruc- 
tive as to property. The Bridgegate in this case was also com- 
pletely inundated, and boats plied along its waters to supply with 
food the inmates of houses who were detained prisoners in the 
upper portions of their dwellings. All the arches of the fine new 
bridge across the river, opposite the Saltmarket, which had been 
passable on foot, fell in, one after another ; and cows, sheep, and 
much agricultural produce were carried away by the rapidity of 
the torrent, and lost. 

Amidst all these distressing occurrences there happened one 
so comic that its recital by the tittle-tattlers of the day made 
people almost to forget the general calamity caused by the flood. 
It seems that David Dale, Esq., whose house was situated at the 
foot of Charlotte Street, had invited a large party to dinner on 
the said i8th day of November 1795, and expected William 

^ The following account of this great flood is taken from the Scots Magazine of 14th 
March 1782 : — 

Glasgow, 14th March 1782. — " On Tuesday last (12th), the River Clyde rose to a 
greater height than the oldest people in the city remembered. It has sometimes over- 
flowed that part of the town which lies very low, but upon this occasion it rose about 
20 feet of perpendicular height above the usual course of the river. This remarkable 
inundation was occasioned by a very heavy fall of rain and snow, which began on Sunday 
last, about three afternoon, without intermission all that night and next day. Upon 
Monday night, about ten o'clock, some parts of the Bridgegate were under water, and 
the flood continued to increase. It was at the greatest height upon Tuesday morning, 
about seven o'clock. At that time the Bridgegate, the lower part of the Saltmarket, 
Stockwell, Maxwell Street, Jamaica Street, and the populous village of Gorbals, were 
all under water. The inundation was sudden and unexpected. Hundreds of families 
were obliged to leave their beds and their houses. A particular account of the damage 
which individuals have sustained cannot be ascertained, but the loss in tobacco, sugar, 
and other merchandise carried away by the river or spoiled by water will amount to a 
very large sum. A young woman in the Gorbals was drowned ; and a woman in 
Partick, thinking herself in safety, refused to leave her house, and being afterwards 
removed from it by her neighbours, expired in half an hour. A great numl)er of horses 
and cows, which could not be removed from the stables or byres, were drowned. The 
river on this occasion was about 1 8 inches higher than in the memorable flood in 1 7 1 2. 
Yesterday morning, to the great joy of the inhabitants, the river was confined to its usual 


Simpson, cashier of the Royal Bank, the great miUionaire Gilbert 
Innes of Stowe, and the whole posse of the Royal Bank directory, 
to come from Edinburgh to meet Scott Moncrieff, George M'Intosh, 
and a few others of our Glasgow magnates at dinner on the said 
day. On the memorable morning of the said i 8th, all was bustle 
and hurry-burry in Mr. Dale's house, preparing a sumptuous feast 
for this distinguished party. The kitchen fires were in full blaze, 
prompt to roast the jolly joints of meat already skewered on the 
spits, to boil the well-stuffed turkeys, and to stew the other tit-bits 
of the table ; while the puddings and the custards stood ready on 
the dresser for immediate application to the bars of the grate ; 
when, lo and behold ! the waters of the Clyde began gently to ooze 
through the chinks of the kitchen floor, and by-and-by gradually 
to increase, so that in a short time the servants came to be going 
through their work with the water above their ankles. At this 
critical moment the Monkland canal burst its banks, and, like an 
avalanche, the waters came thundering down by the Molendinar 
Burn, carrying all before it, and filling the low houses of the 
Gallowgate, Saltmarket, Bridgegate, and under portions of St. 
Andrew's Square, with a muddy stream, and the wrecks of many 
a poor man's dwelling. In consequence of the regorgement of 
water caused by this sad mishap, and the continued increase of 
the flood, the Camlachie Burn, which ran close by Mr. Dale's 
house, was raised to an unusual height, and at once with a con- 
fused crash, broke into Mr. Dale's kitchen, putting out all the fires 
there, and making the servants to run for their lives, they having 
scarcely had time to save the half-dressed dinner. Then came 
the great question. What was now to be done ? The dinner hour 
was fast approaching, and the great Edinburgh visitors were 
already whirling rapidly towards Glasgow in their carriages ; 
while the fires of the kitchen being completely extinguished, the 
kitchen itself was thereby rendered totally useless. In this cala- 
mitous dilemma, Mr. Dale applied to his opposite neighbour in 
Charlotte Street, William Wardlaw, Esq. (Dr. W.'s father), for the 
loan of his kitchen, and also to another of his neighbours, Mr. 
Archibald Paterson, for a like accommodation, both of whom not 
only readily granted the use of their kitchens, but also the aid of 


their servants to cook Mr. Dale's dinner. But still the question 
remained, How were the wines, spirits, and ales to be gotten from 
the cellar, which now stood four feet deep of water? After much 
cogitation, a porter was hired, who, being suitably dressed for the 
occasion, was to descend to the abyss and bring up the said 
articles. It, however, occurred to Mr. Dale that the porter would 
not be able to distinguish the binns that contained the port, 
sherry, and Madeira (Mr. Dale did not sport French wines) from 
those of the rum, brandy, porter, and ale. In this emergency, 
Miss Dale, then sixteen years of age, was mounted on the porter's 
back, and both having descended to the cellar, Miss Dale, amidst 
the waters of the deep, pointed out to her chevalier where he was 
to find the different articles required for the table. After having 
received instructions, the porter brought up his fair charge to the 
lobby of the house, where Miss Dale dismounted from the 
shoulders of her bearer in safety ; and the porter having again 
descended to the cellar, readily found the wines and ales that 
were wanted, which he delivered to Mr. Dale in good order. All 
things now went on in a satisfactory manner. The Edinburgh 
visitors and Glasgow magnates arrived in due time, the dinner 
was cooked and placed on the table in the best style, and the 
whole party passed the evening in mirth and jocularity at the 
odd circumstances which had attended this merry meeting. 

It was the waters of the Camlachie Burn which inundated 
Mr. Dale's kitchen, these having been regorged by the sudden 
rise of the Molendinar Burn, when the two burns met near the 
Episcopal Chapel. The arch of the bridge at that place was 
not large enough to allow a sufficient vent for the accumulated 
waters of both burns, which consequently caused a flow of back 
water. There were three other bridges upon the Molendinar 
Burn before it joined the River Clyde. All these bridges upon the 
occasion in question were also overflowed, the top of their arches 
being only about 4^ feet above the ordinary surface of the rivulet. 

In the year 1764 a very important action of damages against 
the Magistrates of Glasgow was raised in the Court of Session, on 
account of their having irregularly demolished a saw-mill upon 
the Molendinar Burn. On the 3d December 1859 I published 


the following statement of this case in the Glasgow Herald^ 
which I now repeat : — 

" In my early days (speaking, however, only from memory) the Molen- 
dinar Burn was an open rivulet from its source, which arose from some small 
lochs lying to the north of the city. After supplying the Town's Mill with 
water, it ran through a considerable part of the city, receiving in its course 
all the filth and impurities of that part of Glasgow through which it flowed. 
From the College Garden to its junction with the River Clyde there were 
1 8 bridges which crossed the Molendinar Burn; the Gallowgate Bridge and 
the bridge at the south extremity of the Saltmarket being the principal ones. 
Within my time this burn from the New Vennel to the River Clyde has been 
covered in, or arched, in various portions and at various times, so that it 
would be difficult now to say exactly where and when these alterations first 
took place in the course of their construction." 

In ancient times the original level of the Gallowgate Street 
at the bridge has evidently been the banks of the said burn, 
which then, most probably, was crossed by stepping stones, being 
at the time in question a limpid stream, crossing the country 
road to the Gallow Muir and Eastern Common, 

When a boy I remember that there were some small houses 
situated to the north-east of the bridge, which stood about eight 
feet back from the line of the carriage road of the Gallowgate, 
having a passage gradually sloping towards the Molendinar Burn. 
This passage was closed at its eastern extremity by the retaining 
wall of the burn. The Gallowgate then was considerably higher 
at the bridge than the lower parts of the said passage, and there 
was no parapet on the roadway to protect passengers from falling 
into the passage from the street. In short, the Gallowgate Street 
from the bridge westward to St. Andrew's Open (then called 
Kirk Loan) appeared like a continuation of the bridge itself, and 
it is extremely probable that the passage in question originally 
was generally used as a lane to the burn, for the purpose of 
watering horses. The passage commenced nearly opposite St. 
Andrew's Open, where the street was of its present breadth, but 
from that spot to the Molendinar Burn it became narrowed to the 
extent of the space occupied by the lane. The line of houses on 
the north of the passage was built in the old Dutch or Flemish 
style, with corby steps and gables, fronting the lane or passage. 



I remember two of the small shops fronting this alley or 
passage, in both of which a respectable small business was carried 
on. One by Mr, Watson, a staymaker, and the other by a Mr. 
Richardson, for the sale of worsted articles. The opposite pro- 
perty to the east of the burn belonged to the Old Tannery Com- 
pany, rather an extensive establishment.^ Mr. John Sym, writer, 
resided on the first floor of the tenement, at the south-west corner 
of the bridge, and the Molendinar Burn flowed alongside of his 
dwelling. He was the great-grandfather of the celebrated pro- 
fessor, John Wilson of Edinburgh (Christopher North). ("12th 
February 1787. — Married at Edinburgh, Mr. John Wilson, mer- 
chant in Paisley, to Margaret Sym, daugher of Mr. Andrew Sym, 
merchant in Glasgow.") John Sym was the father of Andrew 
Sym above mentioned. 

The under part of the tenement in which John Sym resided 
was occupied by the late Mr. Robert Maxwell of Maxwelltown 
Place as a place of business. To the south of the said tenement 
a person of the name of John or James Findlay had a dwelling- 
house built over the Molendinar Burn itself, there being a space 
of about six feet and a half between the floor of his house and 
the ordinary level of the burn, which space was considered suf- 
ficient to allow free vent to the water in case of floods. (See this 
house in the Plan.) Dr. Woodrow's garden on the west was 
bounded by the Molendinar, and it then formed a pleasant rural 
retreat, being situated in the heart of open grounds, lying between 
the English Chapel and St. Andrew's Square, not a stone of the 
square at that time having been laid. 

From an article published in the Glasgoiv Herald of 27th 
November 1861 we learn that in 1773 the Tan work Company 

^ The tanwork consisted of 15 large tan-pits, 15 smaller do. ; 7 large handlers, 12 
smaller, do. ; I2 scours, large latches, 9 Ihne-pits, 2 bait do. ; a currying shop, 3 large 
sheds for holding bark and drying leather ; a stove and beam shode ; a writing-room, 
bark-mill, with a stone and cast-iron ring ; a dwelling-house of 3 rooms, kitchen, 2 
garret-rooms, and two cellars, etc. etc. The partners in 1786 were John Bowman, 
John Campbell, Robert Boyle, William Couts, Robert Marshall, Archibald Spiers, and 
Peter Spiers, who advertised that they had "men and women's shoes, etc., saddles 
and saddlery, which they are selling on very moderate terms, and carry on the tanning 
business in all its branches." Robert Marshall, the father of Captain William Marshall 
of Rothesay, was the managing partner of the tanwork. 



employed 300 shoemakers for the home and export trade ; that they 
had a shop on the north side of the Trongate, close to what is 
now Glassford Street, for the sale of shoes, under the charge of 
Mr. George M'Intosh, one of the partners at that time, and father 
of the late Mr. Charles M'Intosh of Dunchattan. 

The following is a curious accompt of money received in loan 
by the Tannery Company,^ about the year 1765 : — 

" Accompt of Cash borrowed on Bonds and Bills. 


John Shaw, in Glasgow 

James Shaw, in Slammanan (bill) 

George Leckie, in Caltown of 

Glasgow (bill) 
Girzall Hamilton, in Glasgow 
Borough of Ayr . 
Thomas Hamilton, Minister of 

Agnes Lockhart, in Ayr 
James Yeaman, in Dundee . 
Jannett Luke (deceased) 
Glasgow Merchants' House . 
Jas.Waddell, of Hothouseburn (bill) 
Lillias Grahame, in Glasgow 
Alex. Cuninghame, for Parish of 

Symington, . . . , 

Francis Kennedy, of Dunure 
William Flint (deceased) 
Andrew Cochran, for Hutcheson 

Alex. Hogg, in Edinburgh . 
Katherine Wood, in Glasgow 
Girzall Curry, in Glasgow 
John Russell, in Drumduff (bill) 
John Belches, of Invermay . 
John Shanks, New Monkland 

parish (bill) . 
John Murray, of Blackbarrony 
Donald Campbell, of Airds , 
Wm. Addie, of Drumilzie . 














Rate of 




















^ This concern received money on loan, and had ;,^ 40, 000 lent to them, at 5 pe 
cent interest, by various individuals. This list is also given at page 467, vol. i. of this 








John Kingan, Minister at Crawford 
Jas. Home, of Gamlishiels . 
John Shaw, in Edinburgh 
Christian Govan, in Glasgow 
Mrs. Dick, in Glasgow 
John Boyd, at Barleyside (bill) 
Margaret and Girzal Sprewls 

Glasgow ... 

Provost John Alexander, in Peebles 
Robert Bailie, of Mayvile 
William Wemyss, of Cuttlehill 
Michael Luke, in Dundee . 
William, Duke of Montrose . 
James Hunter, in Ayr . 
Dr. John Erskine, of Carnock 
Wm. Stewart, in Edinburgh . 
Gavin Ralstone, of Ralstone 
John Barker, at Kirkaldie 
Dame Ann Kennedy, of Dunskay 
Wm. Fullarton, of Carstairs . 
George, Earl of North Esk . 
Thomas Rigg, of Morton 
Margaret, Countess of Stair 
William Cunninghame, of Achan 

skeith, .... 
Robt. Hunter, of Thurstone . 
John Bryce, in Cairmuirs (bill) 
Wm. Wood, of Gallowhill . 
Isobel Jamieson, in Glasgow 
Robert Buchanan, of Drumakill 
Barbara and Eliza Scotts, in Glas 
gow (bill) . . . , 

John Thomson, in Edinburgh 
Heirs of Thomas Peters 
Alexander Spiers, Trustee for Jas 

Dunlop's creditors 
Creditors of Robert Macmurich 
James Coulter, in Glasgow . 
James Coats, of Blantyre farm (bill) 
Hew Stewart, East Indies . 
Wm. Bogle, Jas. M'Dowall, and 

Robert Marshall 
John Young, in Calderside (bill) 
John Kincaid, in Cairnmuirs (bill) 

Rate of 








































1 1 



I coo 00 5 

417 9 4 4i 

900 00 5 

254 16 10 4 

120 o o 4| 

100 o o 4^ 



John Campbell and others, i 

Richard Somner, in Haddington 
Lord Stair .... 

Rate of 








^40,192 2 7i 

The Trades' House, on the 30th of June 1693, prohibited 
the cordiners of Gorbals from bringing shoes and other work into 
Glasgow, which was ratified by the Magistrates and Council on 
30th September of that year, under reservation of the right of 
the inhabitants to go to Gorbals to have their measure taken 
there, and to bring into Glasgow any shoemaker work for them- 
selves, on any day of the week except Sunday. — (Crawfurd's 
Trades' House ^ 24.) 

The following is a curious original shoemaker's account : — 

Madam Ellisbeth Moor, 
Dr to S. Wotton, 3d June, 18 19. 

I s. d. 
closing up Madm Moor, . . . . . . . .0011 

mending Miss Plowden, 002 

tapping and bindg Miss hambleton, o o 1 1 

turning up, closing up, and corking Madam Moor, . . .009 

turn hover plase. — brought up, o 2 9 

Welting a pes into Madam Moor, 
stitching a bust into ditto, . 
heeling Miss Plowden, 
repairing Madam Moor's soul, . 
pesing and bottoming Miss Plowden, 

o o I 
o on 

Brought up, 049 

heeling and corking Madam Moor, o 2 1 1 

stitching and making water tight ditto, 006 

tupping Madam Moor, 002 

lining, binding, and laying a pece into do., 004 

horned Madam, 
i beg pardon in sendg. you this here, i be much pressed 
and do hop you'll send the muny — 


Fleming's Saw-mill on the Molendinar — Its demolition by the Magistrates in 1764 — 
Fleming's lawsuit against the Magistrates — Depositions of witnesses, containing 
many interesting notices — First introduction of Scots Crown Fir — Sawmillfield 
— Commencement of Forth and Clyde Canal. 

In the year 175 i Mr. William Fleming, an extensive timber mer- 
chant (grandfather of Dr. J. G. Fleming and William Fleming, 
Esq., writer), erected a saw-mill on the Molendinar Burn, about 
ninety-three yards from the River Clyde. (See the Plan.) It 
was situated immediately north of the present Court- House, about 
the angle where the Molendinar Burn turns suddenly to the south 
from its western course, but which is now all arched over. This 
mill was built under a contract and agreement made between the 
Magistrates and Town Council of Glasgow on the one part, and 
Mr. Fleming and his partner on the other part, and the deed was 
drawn out by Mr. M'Gilchrist, town-clerk of the city. Under the 
faith of the said contract Mr. Fleming had successfully carried on 
for upwards of twelve years the business of sawing foreign and 
home grown timber, to the great benefit of the city and its 
neighbourhood, when the Magistrates of Glasgow, having become 
dissatisfied with their contract, resolved to expel Mr. Fleming 
from his premises, under the impression that he was merely a tenant 
at will. Accordingly, on the 23d of June 1764, without having 
given Mr. Fleming any intimation, they sent twelve men under 
the orders of Robert Findlay, the master of works, who im- 
mediately proceeded, brevi maim, to demolish Mr. Fleming's saw- 
mill, and to scatter its debris into the waters of the Molendinar 
Burn ; for which violent and arbitrary proceeding Mr. Fleming 


immediately commenced an action of damages against them 
before the Court of Session, and after a keen and protracted 
litigation, he succeeded in obtaining a final judgment in his 
favour, on the 9th of July 1768, by which the Magistrates and 
Town Council of Glasgow were compelled to pay to him (i8th 
November 1768) the sum of ;^6io : i : i, by way of damages, 
and likewise about ;^ioo as dues of extract. The following 
were the Magistrates, councillors, and officials of the city of Glas- 
gow on the 23d of June 1764 : — 

Archibald Ingram, re-chosen lord provost. 

Walter Brock, merchant, bailie. 

Alexander M'Kie, do. 

Duncan Niven, barber, trades' bailie {Roderick Random's Strap). 

Merchant Councillors. 

Alexander Spiers. George Murdoch. 

John Alston. John Pagan. 

Colin Dunlop. William Lang. 

John Jamieson. John Gray, new councillor. 

John Bowman. James M'Call, do. 

Robert Donald. William Coats, do. . 

James Buchanan, tailor. 
James Robertson, cooper 
John Lawson, mason. 
John Wilson, wright. 
John Jamieson, skinner. 
Daniel Munro, tailor. 

Trades' Councillors. 

James Lindsay, founder. 
John Fleming, coppersmith. 
Robert Martin, watchmaker. 
John Miller, maltman, new 

John Jeffrey, watchmaker, do 

George Brown, re-chosen dean of guild, councillor ex officio. 
James Clark, deacon-convener, do. 

Peter Murdoch, treasurer, do. 

Robert Findlay, master of works, do. 

John Pagan, bailie of Gorbals. 
Hugh Turner, water bailie. 
George Hamilton, Provan bailie. 
John Martin, bailie of Port-Glasgow. 
John Wardrop, procurator-fiscal. 
William Meiklehouse, visitor of the maltmen. 
Robert Colquhoun and Thomas Miller, town-clerks (Mr. Miller 
afterwards became Lord President of the Court of Session). 
Archibald M 'Gilchrist, depute town-clerk. 


It is curious to see how few of the descendants of the above- 
named gentlemen now occupy official situations in Glasgow, or 
even appear in the list of our topping merchants ; indeed, many 
of their names have become strange to us as leading men of our 
city nowadays. 

In the course of the lawsuit which took place between Mr. 
Fleming and the Magistrates of Glasgow upon the occasion in 
question a great number of witnesses v/ere examined pro and con, 
many of whose depositions throw considerable light upon the 
state of the Low Green of Glasgow and the Molendinar Burn, as 
they stood a century ago, but it would go much beyond the 
limits allowed for the present jottings to extract these depositions 
in full, therefore only a selection from them will now be given. 

James Duncan senior,^ bookseller in Glasgow, aged eighty 
years, born about the year 1685, inter alia, depones — 

" There is a dam called the Skinners' dam, which the deponent has known 
for twenty years and upwards, on the Molendinar burn, a little above the pur- 
suer's mill, and that he has often seen the skinners steep and wash their skins 
in the said dam, and he has also often seen girs steeped in the said bum, both 
below and above the said bridge." 

John Robertson, bookseller in Glasgow, aged sixty years, born 
about 1704, depones — 

" That the foot of Stockwell Street lies lower than the opposite side of the 
Bridgegate Street, and that there is a large syver, which runs down the Stock- 
wellgate Street, near to the Goose-dubs, and empties into Clyde. That the 
skinners of Glasgow have a green for washing and drying their skins on the 
said green." 

James Inglis, hatter, aged forty-three years, depones — 

" That he has known and observed the Molendinar burn for these many 
years past, and has particularly observed that the burn from a little below the 
chapel (English Chapel) down to the pursuer's saw mill is considerably filled 
with dirt, and nastiness, and rubbish ; and that where he was in use to see 
the channel and clean bed of the burn for the distance above mentioned, there 
is nothing now but glare, rubbish, and nastiness. Depones — About 32 years 
ago, say 1730, he knows the water in the said burn was clear and fresh, and 
was used for washing of clothes and other purposes.' 

1 !Mr. Duncan introduced the art of type-making into Glasgow in the year 17 18, and 
M 'lire's History of Glasgow is printed by types from Mr. Duncan's manufactory. 


Adam Wylie, tanner in Glasgow, aged forty-five years, de- 
pones — 

"That he was born in the town of Glasgow, say about 1720, where he 
has resided all his lifetime. That the tannery dam over the Molendinar burn, 
which is situate on part of the east side of the town, next the Gallowgate 
Bridge, was erected some years before the pursuer built his saw mill ; that 
the said dam was built with stones, and had timber sluices both in and above 
the dam. That the Tannery Company have also another dam a little above 
the said dam first deponed on, and the said upmost dam was made for keeping 
the rubbish in the burn from running down to the first mentioned dam, on 
which the Tannery Company have a bark mill. Depones — That he believes 
there are more hides manufactured by the said Tannery Company, and more 
business carried on by them in the tanning way than by all the other tanners 
in Glasgow. That the most of the hides manufactured by the said Tan Work 
Company are washed and steeped in the Molendinar burn, above the Tannery 
Company's bark mill dam, and in the dam ; and that in the summer season, 
in time of drought, very little water runs in the burn below the bark mill dam. 
Depones — That before the said bark mill dam was built, he has seen the 
water in the burn, in time of speats, overflow its banks, and run into the 
houses on both sides of the burn, and also since the bark mill was built ; and 
at these times he has seen the water of the burn rise so high as to run into 
the spring wells, called the Four Sisters. Depones — That before the said 
bark mill dams were erected there were three steps of a stair at several places 
opposite to the said wells for people to go down and take water out of the 
burn. And depones — That before the bark mills were built, the said wells 
were made lock-fast either on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning, 
and kept lock-fast all Sunday ;* and at these times there was a conveyance 
below ground from the said wells to the burn, wherein the water of the wells 
ran, and there was a spout of stone upon the edge of the burn, whereby any 
person wanting water of the wells on Sundays supplied themselves with the 
water which ran by the same conveyance to the burn, and those who wanted 
water on Sundays used to go down two steps of a stair that was made upon 
the east wall of the burn before they could come at the foresaid spout to get 
water. [N.B. — Hence came the name of the Street "the Spoutmouth."] 
Depones — That by the stones and rubbish which came down the burn, and 
bark which is brought from the Tannery Company tan yard and laid on the 

1 Burgh Records, 22d September 1575. — "Item, ye provest and counsale ordanis 
ye new comone well in ye Gallogate to be opponit daylie in ye morning, and lockit at 
ewin, and deputis Michael Pudzean or sum other to attend y.'ito, and keep ye said well 
and key yairof, and to half xl. s. of feall y .Uour for ye space of ane zeir nextocum." 

Item. — " Paid for Irne work to ye quhelis of ye comone well to stope ye cordis to 
cum furthe of ye quhelis at ye maister of works comand." 

N.B. — From the above notice it appears that there were no pump wells in Glasgow 
in 1575, but only draw wells, with the common machinery of wheel and pinion. 


vacant ground opposite to the said wells, the channel of the burn is filled up 
so high as the uppermost of the foresaid steps of the stairs before mentioned 
opposite the wells. Depones — That the wheel of the tannery bark mill 
occupies, with the axletree, three feet of the channel of the said Molendinar 
burn. That he has measured this day the breadth of the said burn betwixt 
wall and wall opposite the said bark mill, and found the same measured eight 
feet and eleven inches or thereby ; that he also measured the sluices in the 
tan work down opposite to the said bark mill, being two in number, one 
thereof measured three feet nine inches in breadth, and the other two feet 
eight inches in breadth. That the said sluices are fixed above a stone dam 
which he computes to be about three or four feet high. Depones — That since 
the building the said bark mill dam the Tan Work Company have been in 
use to clean the Molendinar burn below their dam in order to get a fall to their 
mill water, and by that means the channel or bottom of the burn below the mill 
has been made lower than it was before the said bark mill was erected. 
Depones — That there is a common passage from the Gallowgate Street of Glas- 
gow, by the Spoutmouth, on the west side of the said wells, to the foot of the 
Old Vennel, and from thence to the High Street, leading from the Cross of 
Glasgow to the High Church, and that in time of speats he has often seen the 
said passage stopped by its being overflowed with water opposite the foresaid 
wells and above them for some space. Depones — For these forty years past 
he has seen two dams on the Molendinar burn above the pursuer's saw mill, 
the one of these dams called the Tanners' dam, and the other the Skinners' 
dam, and they are both still extant. Depones — That he knows the town of 
Glasgow's Slaughter House is situated a little to westward of the said saw 
mill, and that the cattle which the butchers sell in Glasgow are slaughtered in 
that place ; and the deponent has seen heaps of dung, composed of tripes, 
blood, and shearn, which proceeded from the cattle which had been slaughtered 
in the said slaughter house, lying near to the wells thereof, which is situated 
on the south side of, and near to the road leading from the foot of the Salt- 
market Street, through one of the arches of the bridge to the Broomielaw, 
and to which road there is access by carts and carriages by a lane that leads 
from the Bridgegate Street along the side of the Merchants' Hospital and 
dyke thereof 

«< Depones — That there are houses on both sides of the Molendinar Burn 
near to the foresaid bark mill dam, and that these houses are nearer the burn 
than any houses about the foresaid saw mill, and that some of the gavels and 
walls of the houses near the said bark mill bound the Molendinar Burn. 
Depones — That the Gallowgate Street, through which the said Molendinar 
Burn runs, from the bridge in the said Gallowgate Street to the toll bar (then 
near Kent Street), is double the length of the Gallowgate Street from the 
Cross to the said Gallowgate Bridge,^ and he judges the foresaid bark mill to 

^ Mr. Stuart, in his Viezns of Glasgotu, has given us a plate at page 99 showing the 
town residence of the late Kirkman Finlay, Esq. The following notice regarding the 
house in which Mr. Finlay was bom may perhaps be interesting to many of our Glas- 


be about forty paces above the said Gallowgate Bridge ; and he is of opinion 
that the bark mill dam might drown people, or is as dangerous as the saw 
mill dam if they fall into it. And on the defender's interrogatory, depones — 
That the said bark mill is built on the ground lying on the west side of the 
said burn, and that the east gavel of the mill is the west boundary of the burn. 
Depones — That the pursuer's saw mill is the west boundary of the burn. 
Depones — That the pursuer's saw mill is built over the channel of the burn, 
and that he has seen the road leading by the Spoutmouth, before described, 
often flooded, and passage by it stopped in time of flood, before the bark mill 
was erected, and since the erection of the said dam, in the night time, when 
the sluices were kept shut. When speats happened he has known the water 
rise in houses of the neighbourhood as high as the people's beds, and has 
seen people carried out in their shifts from their beds ; but so soon as the 
sluices of the said bark mill dam were drawn the water immediately 

Robert Glen, dyer in Glasgow (deacon In 1765 and 1771), 
aged forty-eight years, depones — 

"That he is proprietor of a house and yard upon the east side of the Molen- 
dinar burn, a little way above the bark mill of the Tannery Company of 
Glasgow, and that he carries on a dyerie factory there, and has twenty -five 
blue vats and four boilers at present using in the said factory. Depones — 
That he knew seven or eight speats in the Molendinar burn in one year, since 
he came to possess the houses and grounds where he now lives. That upon 
a particular occasion he had gone out of his house, been absent about an 
hour, and when he came to return he found the road to his house covered 
with water of the Molendinar burn, a speat or flood having come down about 
that time. That he got a horse and rode through the water, which covered 
the causeway leading into his house, and he stepped on the stair leading up 
to his own house. That he then found Mrs. Hunter, his tenant, in his house 
upon the ground, below his dwelling-house, attempting to keep out the water 
from her house by claes, which she was putting behind the door ; but, as he 
observed the speat still increasing, he persuaded her to come out, and she 
having said to the deponent she was afraid of being drowned, he reached over 
his own stair a cloth, which she took hold of, and in this manner he pulled 
her out of her own house, over the half door thereof, up to where he was 
standing, and she went into his house, and slept there all night. Depones — 

gow citizens. This house, to the best of my recollection, was situated a little to the 
east of the Gallowgate Bridge, and on the south side of the street. 

Glasgow Mermry, 26th March 1778. — "Notice — To be sold, and entered into 
at Whitsunday next, that tenement of land in the Gallowgate, consisting of seven rooms, 
kitchen, and two cellars, stable, hay loft, byre, with a large lead cistern, all presently 
possessed by James Finlay, merchant in Glasgow, the proprietor. The premises are in 
exceeding good order, and very commodious. — Apply to Archibald Givan, writer in 
Glasgow." {N.B. — Mr. Kirkman Finlay was born in 1772.) 


That the water was so high as that it was going out and in at the window of 
the said Mrs. Hunter her house ; and the sole of the said window is, as the 
deponent judges, about thirty inches high above the ground. Depones — That 
the river Clyde had no influence upon the speats in the burn above the bark 
mill, before deponed upon, nor did not raise the same ; and he does not think 
that the water of Clyde ever crossed the bark mill dam, or raised the 
water in the Molendinar burn so high as to stagnate the water on the said 
burn in time of floods, above the said mill dam, and of this last he is sure. 
Depones — That there is a little-house {Foricd) built upon the side of the burn, 
Molendinar, in the yard belonging to the Tannery Company, a little below 
their bark mill, and that the said little-hotise empties itself into the said burn, 
upon the west side thereof; r.nd he has seen the wall, on the west side thereof, 
immediately below the said little-house^ bespattered with ordure ; and the back 
of the said little-hotcse is seen from the Gallowgate Bridge, and when the 
deponent looked thereto, he obsei-ved it in the condition above deponed upon ; 
and the deponent has observed the foresaid little-house at different times, for 
ten or twelve years past. Depones — That the said Tannery Company are in 
use to lay the bark which they take out of the tan holes, upon the ground at 
the east side of the burn, betwixt the bum and the Spout well, and that when 
floods came down the said burn that bark (being useless) is washed into the 
channel thereof. ^ Depones — That in the summer time, in time of drought 
and warm weather, he has seen the water in the Molendinar burn, above the 
bark mill dam, stagnate and black, and belling up, throwing forth a stench 
and rotten smell therefrom. Depones — That the foresaid bark mill and dam 
thereof is situated a little above the Gallowgate Bridge, and that he judges 
the said bridge lies about two hundred yards from the Cross of Glasgow. 
Depones — That the deponent complained to Robert Marshall, one of the 
partners of the Tannery Company, that the dams of the said company did 
him, the deponent, hurt, but that he got no redress in consequence of the said 
complaint. Depones — That he, the deponent, and several of his neighbours 
presented a petition to the magistrates and town council of Glasgow, complain- 
ing of the dams belonging to the said Tannery Company, across the Molen- 
dinar burn, and of the burns being choked up thereby, and of their long 
having lain under that grievance, and asking redress, but to which the town 
council have not yet given any answer ; and the said petition was presented 
about six months ago. And depones — That the presenters of the said petition 
employed Mr. "William Sommervell, writer in Glasgow, who at their desire, 
wrote a letter to each of John Bowman, Esq., and Andrew Cochran, Esq., 
both partners of the said Tannery Company, informing them that they had 

^ This refuse, or exhausted bark, used frequently (down to my time) to be spread 
upon the streets of Glasgow, before the dwellings of persons who were sick, in order, as 
was alleged, to prevent their being disturbed by the noise of carts and carriages passing 
along. I believe, however, that this was done by the better classes of citizens, more 
from sheer vanity and effect, than from any fear of the patients being disturbed by the 
rattling of carriages. 


presented the above-mentioned petition to the town council, and if they did not 
get redress thereby, they would be obliged to take another method.^ 

"Depones — That he had observed the servants of the said Tannery Com- 
pany cleaning and carrying away the rubbish out of the channel of the burn 
every year, from the Gallowgate Bridge, and for a considerable way downwards, 
and which rubbish they dug up with mattocks. Further depones — That he 
knows of another little-house upon the east side of the burn Molendinar, a 
little below the Gallowgate Bridge." 

Alexander Dalmahoy, bridle cutter in Glasgow, aged thirty, 
depones — 

" That the house in which the deponent lives, and a tan work which the 
deponent also possesses, both lie opposite the Slaughter House and below the 
saw mill, and that when there are floods in the Clyde, water comes in both to 
deponent's house and tan work. Depones — That he saw the water in the 
tanners' and skinners' dam, last summer, as black and thick as ever he saw it 
before. Depones — That he never saw a sluice in either the skinner or tan- 
ners' dam, during the time the pursuer's saw mill stood." 

William Parlane, indweller in Glasgow, aged eighty -three 
(born about 1680), depones — 

" That he knew the deceased William Telfer, upwards of forty years ago, 
had a saw mill on the Green of Glasgow, at which the deponent, at the 
employment of the said William Telfer (deacon of hammermen in 1705-6, 
and 1722-3) wrought six weeks ; that about forty years ago (say about 1724), 
Arthur Robertson (treasurer of Glasgow in 1747, and bailie of Gorbals in 
1754 ; he was the first cashier of the Ship Bank in 1750, then situated at the 
east end, on the south side of the Bridgegate), merchant in Glasgow, took the 
said saw mill which was built on the Green, and on the east side of the burn 
Molendinar, from the said William Telfer, and also a 'wind-mill, which was 
erected above the saw mill ; and the deponent had the charge of the said 
mills, from the said Arthur Robertson, for about nine months, or thereby, at 
the end whereof, the said Arthur Robertson got a new servant to take the 
deponent's charge of his mills off his hands, and so on. After the new servant 
came, Mr. Robertson gave up the possession of the said mill to the said 
William Telfer, whose son, Peter, took possession of the mills, and he, being 
a smith to his trade, took the iron work of the mills and converted it to other 
purposes, and also sold the stones wherewith the mill was built. That this 
sale and conversion happened when the said William Telfer was at London, 
and the deponent knows that he was absent, for some time, when the mill 

1 John Bo\vman, Andrew Cochran, and William Coats, partners of the Tannery 
Company, were lord provosts of Glasgow. Alexander Spiers, and one or two more 
members of the said tannery concern, were town councillors, so that the Tannery Com- 
pany possessed great influence at the council chamber. 



was demolished. That the dam which served the said mill was a laigh 
timber dam, or a thing fit to set in gang water to a little mill, and did no sort 
of harm, and the wheel of the said mill was only three feet in diameter : and 
being interrogated, for the defenders, depones — That while William Telfer 
had the foresaid saw mill, he caused clean the Molendinar burn, from the 
mill up to the chapel, once every two years ; and that so far as he remembers, at 
this time, tanners and skinners had no dam in the burn, neither was bark 
mill dam belonging to the Tan Work Company then erected, and there was 
no house or building of any kind above the foresaid timber dam which served 
Telfer's mill." 

Alexander Rae, hammerman St. Enoch's Burn, aged sixty- 
eight years, depones — 

" That some complaint having been made to Hugh Rogei', then provost of 
Glasgow (provost in 1732-3), that William Telfer's mill dam caused the water 
wash off the lime from off the stones of the bridge, a visit of council of Glas- 
gow was called upon the said dam, as the deponent was informed, at which 
John Telfer was present, and said he would have nothing to do with the dam ; 
whereon the council ordered the dam to be taken down, which was accordingly 
done ; and at this time the saw mill was standing, and a wind mill, which was 
erected on the said saw mill, was kept going for some time ; but afterwards 
some differences having happened betwixt the said John Telfer and Peter 
Telfer his brother, concerning the said saw and wind mills, they were both 
allowed to go to ruin." 

Archibald Ingram, late provost of Glasgow (he was provost in 
1762-3, and died 2 2d July 1770 ; Ingram Street was named for 
him), aged sixty years and upwards, depones — 

"That to the best of his remembrance, after Whitsunday, 1764, and when 
the deponent was provost of Glasgow, an Act of Council was passed ordering 
the dam of the pursuer's saw mill to be taken down, and a committee of the 
council were named to see the said Act put in execution. 

" Depones — That the next day, or a day or two after the foresaid Act of 
Council passed and was minuted, the dam of the pursuer's saw mill was taken 
down Depones — The foresaid orders of council to the committee to take 
down the pursuer's dam was openly given in council, and was agreed to by a 
majority of council." 

William Lang (deacon of the hammermen in 1741, and bailie 
of Glasgow in 1767), merchant in Glasgow, aged fifty years, 
depones — 

" That he has lived in a house built on the west side of the Molendinar 
burn, immediately below the Gallowgate Bridge, for some years past ; and in 


the summer seasons he observed the water in the said burn to be as black as 
ink almost, except when there was fresh water in the bum. Depones — That 
he knows the Molendinar burn for some space above and below the Gallow- 
gate Bridge is bounded with houses on both sides thereof, and that the 
Tannery Company have a house of office^ the nastiness of which falls into the 
burn a little above the Gallowgate Bridge ; and that the nastiness of the said 
house of office is open to the view of every person who passes the Gallowgate 
Bridge, which is but a small distance from the Cross of Glasgow, and the 
Gallowgate in which the bridge is, is one of the four principal streets of 

John Woodburn, merchant in Glasgow, aged fifty-five years, 
depones — 

"That in June 1764, he was desired by Robert Findlay, master of works, 
to provide some men, which he did to the number of ten or twelve ; and 
Duncan Niven, then one of the bailies of Glasgow, the said Robert Findlay, 
the deponent, and the said ten or twelve men, went to the pursuer's saw mill 
about six o'clock in the morning, and there the said ten or twelve men, at the 
order of the said Duncan Niven and Robert Findlay, entered the pend at the 
south end of the pursuer's saw mill, and took down all the wood they found 
betwixt the said south pend and the north pend of the said mill, and also the 
timber sluices which were fixed on the north end of the said mill, and removed 
also some stones, some whereof were long, that were placed below the pend of 
the mill, and laid the stones on the ground at the side of the mill, where the 
timber was also laid, and removed everything that obstructed the course of the 
water in the pend ; and that the work before deponed to was performed by 
porters, not by tradesmen." 

(Deacon William Fram, mason in Glasgow, and others, de- 
poned in similar terms as to the demolition of Mr, Fleming's saw 

John Wilson, wright in Glasgow, aged fifty years or thereby, 
depones — ■ 

" That he is well acquainted with the pursuer's saw mill, which is built in 
the channel of the Molendinar burn ; also with the dale yard belonging to the 
said mill, which is a part of the west end of the Green of Glasgow, and is 
situated a little to the north-east of the Slaughter House of the town of Glasgow, 
and the said burn and Skinners' green only intervene betwixt the said dale 
yard and Slaughter House. Depones — That he was a member of the town 
council of Glasgow when the magistrates and council passed an Act in council 
for taking down the dam of the pursuer's saw mill, which act was gone openly 
about, and minuted down by the town clerk, according to the appointment of 
the magistrates and council ; but according to uniform custom, the Act was 


not recorded or engrossed in the Council books upon the day whereon it passed, 
nor was it subscribed until the next meeting of council ; before which time 
came, the deponent saw the saw mill dam taken down." 

William Miller, millwright in Gorbals, aged fifty years, de- 
pones — 

" That at the desire of the pursuer, he took a level of the Molendinar burn, 
from the north gavel of the pursuer's saw mill to the tanners' dam, and from 
that to the skinners' dam ; that he found the tanners' dam to be two inches 
higher than the saw mill dam, and the top of the skinners' store dam was two 
feet higher than the top of the saw mill dam ; that in measuring he found the 
distances betwixt the saw mill dam and the skinnei's' dam to be seventy-three 
yards, and the distance betwixt the saw mill dam and the tanners' dam to be 
twenty-eight yards and six inches. Depones — That on measuring, he also 
found the distance from the skinners' dam to the place where the Molendinar 
and Camlachie burns join, to be ninety-one yards ; and on measuring the 
breadth of the Molendinar burn a little below where it and the Camlachie 
burn join, he found it to be twelve feet : that the breadth of the burn at the 
skinners' dam is sixteen feet six inches : that on measuring further, he found 
the east sluice in the pursuers' mill was two feet eleven inches broad, and two 
feet four and a half inches in depth : that the westmost sluice measured two 
feet eight and a half inches in breadth, and two feet four and a half in depth : 
that the distance from the south gavel of the saw mill to Clyde, at low water, 
is ninety-three yards." 

Patrick Maxwell, cordiner in Glasgow, aged fifty-six years, 
depones — 

" That since the saw mill dam was built, and before it was taken down, 
he has frequently observed that the water above the dam was black and thick, 
and like as if it had been boiling or bubbling up in summer time, or in the 
drought of summer, and a nauseous smell or stink arising out of that black 
water, which the deponent has smelt himself; and has heard the skinners 
when they were washing their skins in the burn say there were vermin therein, 
which bit their legs ; and the deponent has seen the marks thereof, and seen 
the blood appearing out of the wound. Depones — That during the time the 
saw mill dam stood, the bottom of the burn was seldom seen, except sometimes 
on Saturday evenings, when the sluices of the saw mill dam were drawn up ; 
and then the bottom of the burn was a frightful sight, being covered over with 
glar, and stinking meat, thrown into it by the butchers when they had been 
too long kept, dead dogs and cats." 

John Fleming, dyer in Glasgow, aged seventy years, de- 
pones — 

" That during the standing of the saw mill dam, he, in times of drought 


in summer, has observed the water above the mill in a great fermentation, 
which raised such a thick scum upon the top of the water as he thinks would 
have carried a partridge ; and he has actually seen the bird water-wagtail 
standing thereon without sinking. Depones — That he remembers that before 
the tan work and bark mill thereof in the Gallowgate was built, the water in 
the burn Molendinar was so good, that people in the Bridgegate took the 
water thereof for the brewing of their ale. Depones — He was informed by 
several of the skinners that the time of the standing of the said saw mill dam, 
there was some kind of vermin in the burn that bit their legs, and raised lumps 
upon them, while they were standing in the burn bare-legged, washing their 
sheep skins ; and that since the saw mill was removed, the skinners have 
informed the deponent that there were no such vermin in the burn. Depones 
— He has heard it reported that one child was drowned in the burn, and two 
or three more got lying dead in the burn ; and also that several children had 
fallen into the burn, and would have been drowned if persons who had seen 
them fall in had not come and taken them out. Depones — That the tanners' 
dam and skinners' dam, from the time the deponent first knew them, were 
placed across the burn in the same places where they now stand, and that the 
skinners' dam is at present not above eight inches high above the rubbish in 
the channel of the burn : That the tanners' dam is situated immediately under 
the bridge over the said burn at the south end of the Butchers' Street (now 
Market Street), which is the second bridge over the burn above the saw mill : 
That the skinners' dam is situated betwixt the tanners' dam and the bridge 
over the said burn, at the south end of the Saltmarket Street. Depones — The 
Green of Glasgow is a large enclosure, and the deponent measured the cir- 
cumference thereof, and found it to measure a mile and a half, and a little 
more. Depones — That within these twenty years last he remembers to have 
heard it reported that the magistrates and city council had agreed to feu or 
set in tack to a company of merchants in the city about two acres at the west 
end of the Green, including the ground whereon the saw mill stands, in order 
to build a manufactory for weaving woollen broadcloth : That the company 
made an entry through the wall that surrounded the Green, and put a gate on 
the entry : That the gate was thrown down the very first night after it was 
put up, and thrown into the said burn : There was great grumbling amongst 
the inhabitants on account of the said feu or set, and the deacon convener 
and members of the Trades' House took the matter into their consideration, 
and a stop was put to the further procedure of the said feu or set, and the 
Green was allowed to continue in its former state." 

John Brodie, saddletree maker in Glasgow, depones — 

" That all the floods that ever he saw in the Bridgegate, first began near 
opposite to Blythswood's house ; but the water from Clyde first runs up a 
syver at the Merchants' house, and crosses the Bridgegate, and stands on the 
north side thereof, at the foot of the Old Wynd, and betwixt it and John 
Rankin's (father of the late James Rankin) house ; and next the water runs in 


at the mouth of a syver below the Water Port, and from thence runs up the 
foot of Stockvvell-gate and along the Goose-dubs, and all the places lie below 
and to the westward of the saw mill." 

Mr. Fleming was the first timber merchant who introduced 
into Glasgow the general use of Scots-grown timber for coarse 
and common purposes, such as for making coffins, packing boxes, 
house lathing, coal-heugh gearing, cleading of carts, and such- 
like ordinary uses. In fact, the erection of his saw-mill effected 
a great change in various departments of the timber trade, and 
lowered the prices of both workmanship and materials of various 
articles connected with the trade in question, as the following 
deposition shows. 

John Wilson, wright in Glasgow, aged fifty years or thereby, 
depones — 

" That he knows the pursuer was bred a wright, and that after he built the 
saw mill in dispute he began to purchase different parcels of Scotch fir, which 
wood has been used chiefly for making lath for plaister, boxes for packing 
goods, bars for coal heughs, and cleading of carts. That the first time, so far 
as the deponent knows, that Scotch fir was used in Glasgow for making boxes, 
and lath for plaister, was some time after the pursuer's saw mill was erected ; 
and the pursuer having lowered the price of boxes, the wrights of Glasgow put 
an advertisement in the newspapers, that it was improper to make boxes of 
Scotch fir; but that, notwithstanding, the demand for Scotch fir boxes in- 
creased. Depones — That Scotch fir has now become a staple commodity for 
the purposes before deponed to. Depones — That so far as he remembers, the 
price of boxes made of foreign fir, before the pursuer's mill was erected, was 
from 5s. to 6s. each, and that after the building of said mill, boxes of the 
same sizes, made of Scotch fir, were sold at 4s. 6d. and 5s. each. Depones — 
That the pursuer furnished the deponent with different parcels of lathing of 
Scotch fir, and also nailed the same on the house and made it fit for plaister, 
for all which he charged the deponent only sixpence per square yard, and the 
deponent could not have provided himself with the same quantity of lathing of 
foreign fir and workmanship under eightpence per yard. Depones — That in 
his opinion the saw mill was erected both for the interest of the pursuer and 
the public." 

John Herbertson, late deacon of the wrights in Glasgow, 
depones — 

*' That before the pursuer's saw mill was erected he paid to whip sawers 
for sawing a hundred feet of big fir trees into lathing at the rate of 2s. 6d., 
which was the lowest price, and sometimes he paid 2d. more for sawing the 


like quantity of wood ; that he also paid the whip sawers at the rate of 3s. for 
sawing one hundred feet of joisting, and that he paid at the mill for a like 
sawing at the rate of 2s, id. for each hundred feet. Depones — That in his 
opinion any wood that he got sawn at the saw mill was better done than that 
which he got done by the whip sawers." 

John Muirhead, wright in Gorbals (father of Robert Muirhead, 
bailie of Glasgow in 1798, for whom Muirhead Street, Gorbals, 
was named), depones — 

*' That Robert Campbell of Finab, about ten or twelve years ago, informed 
the deponent that the pursuer had bought from him Scots fir to the value of 
£S'^° or ;^6oo ; and he also knows that he bought several other considerable 
quantities of fir from other persons. Depones — That the expense of carriage 
of fir by water to Glasgow from any part of the country below or about 
Greenock, or from Lochlomond, or any of the Highland lochs, does generally 
far exceed the original price. Depones — That he is of opinion that fir can 
be brought from North America to Greenock cheaper than Scotch fir can be 
brought from Lochaber to that place. Depones — That Scotch fir sells about 
a third part cheaper than either North America or Norway fir sells for." 

A great number of witnesses were examined in the course of 
this lawsuit regarding the different floods of the River Clyde, and 
how far Mr. Fleming's saw-mill and dam, by interrupting the free 
passage of the waters of the Molendinar Burn, had tended to 
increase the damage done by the overflowing of the Clyde to the 
Bridgegate and to the lower parts of the city ; but as none of 
those old speats deponed to were at all equal in magnitude to the 
great inundation of the 12th of March 1782, to that of 1795, or 
even to the one of 1808, I have omitted the depositions of the 
witnesses thereto. 

In articles published in the Glasgoiv Herald I have taken 
notice of those mighty floods last mentioned, having seen them 
when at their greatest height, and was personally interested in that 
of 1808, being obliged to leave my country dwelling, then situated 
between Springfield and Greenlaw, in my shirt, and to wade to 
dry land with only my head above the torrent of the Clyde, which 
was then running like a mill-dam lade. The Paisley road next to 
Tradeston was then flooded. I may here mention that towards 
the close of last century the Philosophical Society of Glasgow 
issued a proposal to make the Molendinar Burn navigable up to 
the Gallowgate Bridge ; and if the mania for joint-stock com- 


panics, with limited liability, had then been as rife as we have 
seen them of late, we might perhaps have beheld a little Broomie- 
law in the Gallowgate, with its upper and lower navigation. But 
from this digression I return to Mr. Fleming, who, shortly after 
having received from the city the sum of ;^6 1 o : i : i of damages 
for the loss of his saw-mill (with ;^ioo for dues of extract), 
purchased a part of the lands of Hamilton Hill, and in honour of 
his victory over the Magistrates and Town Council of Glasgow, 
he named his newly-acquired lands " Sawmillfield." It was in or 
about 1767 that Mr. Fleming purchased from John Young of 
Youngfield, late deacon of the tailors in Glasgow, for the price 
of ^1200 sterling, two pieces of ground which were part of 
the Great Western Common of Glasgow. To the first piece, 
consisting of 2 1 acres or thereby, Mr. Young had acquired right 
immediately from the Magistrates of Glasgow by a feu-charter. 
To the other piece, consisting of 19 acres, Mr. Young acquired 
right from Robert Hamilton of Hamilton Hill, whose author had 
acquired right thereto by a feu-contract from the Magistrates of 
Glasgow. Mr. Fleming appears to have kept the culture of these 
lands in his own hands during his lifetime, but after his death (for 
behoof of his family) they came under the m.anagement of his 
widow, who was a Miss Tarbet, the sister of the well-known Mrs. 
Dr. Balmanno, for whom Balmanno Street was named. In the 
Glasgozu Journal of ist July 1789 Mrs. Fleming advertised the 
Sawmillfield lands to be let, as follows : — 

" To be set by public roup, for such a number of years as may be agreed 
on, the lands and farm of Sawmillfield, lying within a mile of the City of 
Glasgow, with the farm houses and offices thereon, which are mostly new, and 
very commodious. The above lands lie along the east side of the high road 
leading from the City of Glasgow to the basin at the west end of the Great 
canal, and by their vicinity to the canal, being within 160 yards of it, may be 
of great advantage to an active tenant. — For particulars, apply to Archibald 
Smith, writer in Glasgow." 

Immediately after Mr. Fleming^ had purchased the lands 

^ Mr. Fleming left a family of four sons, all of whom were well known in Glasgow, 
and I have no doubt are remembered by all our elderly citizens ; their names were 
William, Matthew, John, and Hugh. John was an eminent writer, and the other three 
were merchants of high standing. 


above mentioned, the Forth and Clyde Canal was projected, which 
ultimately came through the heart of his lands. On the loth of 
June 1768 the first spadeful of earth for the formation of the said 
canal was dug out. The navigation was filled with water on 3d 
September 1773, and to Stockingfield on loth November 1775. 
On the loth November 1777 the collateral cut to Hamilton Hill 
was finished, where a large basin was made for the reception of 
vessels and rafts of timber. On the 6th of July 1786 the opera- 
tions commenced for extending the navigation from Stockingfield 
to the Clyde, which was completely finished, and the canal opened 
from sea to sea on the 28th of July 1790. The basin at Hamilton 
Hill having been found too distant from the city of Glasgow, and 
inconvenient for the trade, the canal company purchased eight 
acres of ground within half a mile of Glasgow, and on the 1 1 th of 
November 1790 finished a basin on a larger scale, where they 
have erected granaries and store-house, with all other necessary 
accommodation for an extensive inland traffic. 

Mrs. Fleming, like her sister, Mrs. Balmanno, was a very clever 
and acute old lady, and at first was in a mighty passion when she 
learned that the Forth and Clyde Canal was to be cut through the 
very middle of the family lands, thereby cutting the family farms 
in halves, and forcing the tenants to cross the canal on every 
occasion when they required to plough or dress the respective 
detached parts ; but the old lady lived to change her opinion on 
this subject, when she found that so far from the canal having 
injured the value of the family lands, it had tended to increase 
the same to an extent quite beyond all expectation. 


Port-Dundas as a harbour versus the Broomielaw — Cow-milking on the Green — Rates 
for grazing — Dell^in the Green — The Washing-House, and Scotch mode of cleans- 
ing clothes — Castle Boins — The Big Tree — The Green the scene of military 
punishment — A soldier shot, 1750 — Dispute between the Magistrates and the 
Officers of Colonel Herbert's regiment. 

At this time Mr. Golborne had erected 1 1 7 jetties on the Clyde 
between Glasgow and Greenock, and had deepened the channel 
of the river, so that vessels drawing seven feet of water could 
navigate up to the harbour at the Broomielaw, but the canal 
being eight feet deep, immediately upon its having been made 
open for traffic, Port-Dundas became a more important port than 
the Broomielaw. 

It is curious to see the numerous arrivals announced by the 
newspapers, of vessels discharging their cargoes at the canal basin, 
in 1778, being only one year after the formation of the basin at 
Hamilton Hill, while not a single arrival at the Broomielaw, 
during the same space of time, is taken notice of in the public 
lists of arrivals, 

Glasgow Mercury, 5th February 1778. — " Canal, February 4th, 1778. — 
Arrived, the Borrowstounness, Thompson, from Borrowstounness, with merchant 
goods ; the Success, Begg, from Leith, with bark and goods ; the Netherwood, 
Baine, with grain and goods ; the Bell, Neilson, with wheat and barley ; the 
Eagle, Mennon, with wheat ; the Industry, Hodge, with iron deals and wheat ; 
the Evan, Shaw, with barley ; the Clyde, Anderson, with iron and tallow ; the 
Industry, Johnston, with barley ; the Dolphin, Ronald, with beans and malt ; 
the Dispatch, Burgess, with goods and grain ; the Catherine, Keller, with 
bear and iron ; the Janet, Dewar, with goods and grain ; the Martha, Walker, 
with grain and iron ; the Nelly, Wachop, with barley and wheat. All from 
the Sea Lock." 


" Canal Basin, iSth February 1778. — Arrived since our last. — The Carron 
Packet, Calder, Carron, merchant goods; Lighter, No. i, Dewar, goods or 
guns ; Dispatch, Burgess, Borrowstounness, lintseed and ashes ; Borrow- 
stounness, Thompson, do., lintseed and wood ; the Glasgow, Shaw, do., goods 
and meal ; the Free Mason, Easton, barley ; Dolphin, Ronald, wheat ; the 
Eagle, Mennon, meal ; the Glasgow Packet, Aikman, grain ; the Martha, 
Walker, grain ; the Nelly, Wachop, grain ; the Bell, Hodge, iTieal. All from 
the Sea Lock." 

The committee of management at this time appointed Mr. 
Nicol Baird (the grandfather of the Messrs. Baird of the Canal 
Brewery), to be the surveyor on the canal. Mr. Baird then lived 
at Westertovvn, near Falkirk. 

It may easily be seen that the formation of the canal through 
the lands of Sawmillfield added greatly to the value of the said 
lands, and the prolongation of it to Port-Dundas added still 
further towards their enhancement. 

The following advertisement shows where the dwelling-house 
and workshops of Mr. William Fleming were situated in Glasgow: — 

Glasgow Mercury, nth December 1792. — "To be sold, the property in 
Gibson's Close, Saltmarket, belonging to the heirs of the late William Fleming, 
Sawmillfield, consisting of a back house of two storeys, and cellars, with a 
work house in the close leading from the Trongate to Prince's Street, and a 
stable underneath, together with the whole dung of Gibson's Close. The 
yearly rent is at present ^30 5s. Henry Barton, one of the tenants, will 
show the premises. — Apply to William Fleming, (father of Dr. Fleming), 
opposite the Exchange, Glasgow." 

It thus appears that the sweepings of Gibson's Close were 
held out as an inducement for purchasers to come forward. 

The following notification regarding this old Glasgow family 
appeared in the North British Daily Mail of 26th February 

" Glasgow Cathedral. — We noticed in Monday's impression, the erection 
of two windows in the chapter house of the Cathedral, designed and executed 
by Mr. Hughes, glass painter of London ; the set has been completed by the 
placing of other two. As we formerly indicated, a unity of subject connects 
the four, which are representative of charity, or acts of m^ercy, a thoughtful 
and unquestionably judicious arrangement, for which we are indebted to Mr, 
Charles Heath Wilson. One of the last erected windows is dedicated to the 
memory of their ancestors, merchant burgesses in Glasgow, since 1643, and 
of their parents, William Fleming of Sawmillfield, and Janet Gibson, his wife, 


by William Fleming, John Gibson Fleming, and David Gibson Fleming. The 
texts which form the subject of illustration are : ' I was a stranger, and ye took 
me in ; I was naked, and ye clothed me,'" [The three last-named gentlemen 
were the grandchildren of William Fleming sen., of Sawmillfield, and his wife. 
Miss Tarbet.] 

It will be seen from the Plans hereto annexed that the 
entry to Mr. Fleming's saw -mill and wood -yard was by the 
Bridgegate and along the Slaughter-House lane, from which lane 
there was a narrow crooked passage leading directly to the 
Slaughter- House, and to the enclosure for cattle intended for 
slaughter. There was no other entry to the Low Green of Glas- 
gow from the west, except by crossing this passage, which pass- 
age formed the most intolerable nuisance of the city, for the 
putrid refuse of the Slaughter-House lay there in heaps, and the 
passage itself was quite a quagmire from dirt, and the dung of 
the cattle left there by them when passing into the enclosure and 
shambles. In fact, no attention was then paid by the fleshers 
or by the public authorities to keep the neighbourhood of the 
Slaughter-House clean, in consequence of which the miasmatic 
effluvia and nauseous smell at or near the place were quite over- 
powering to all who had delicate olfactory nerves.^ I never saw 
a lady venture to enter the Green from the west by the route of 
the Slaughter-House lane, for if she had made the attempt she 
would have required to have done so, armed with pattens ^ on 

1 " Glasgow, 1st March 1764. — By order of the Magistrates of Glasgow. — Whereas, 
there are several middens or quantities of dung laid down, and presently lying on the 
streets and avenues leading into the city of Glasgow, to the great nuisance of all persons 
coming in, or going out of the city, or taking the benefit of the air around the city. 
These are, therefore, requiring all persons interested in said dung, that they carry the same 
from off the streets and avenues, or lanes, leading into the city, betwixt and the 15th 
day of March next to come. Certifying all and every person who shall refuse or delay so 
to do, that the magistrates will confiscate all dung lying on the streets, avenues, or lanes, 
leading into the said city after the said day, and grant a warrant for carrying away and 
applying the same to other uses, and fine the persons who laid down the same, in ten 
pounds Scots, each ; and these are strictly prohibiting and discharging all ai.d every person 
or persons whomever, from laying down any dung on any of the streets, avenues, or lanes 
leading into the city, under the penalty of ten pounds Scots, for each transgression." 

2 At this time there were no side pavements in Glasgow for the benefit of pedes- 
trians, in consequence of which pattens were in universal use by all ranks of females, 
during wet weather. From the following advertisement it appears that pattens could be 
purchased at a very low rate, which no doubt tended to make their use quite common 
in Glasgow : — 

Glasgow Journal, 17th July 1766. — "Reginald Tucker, makes and sells for ready 


her feet, to prevent her shoes being submersed in h'quid mud and 
the ordure of cattle. The usual route to the Low Green from 
the west was by the Bridgegate to the foot of the Saltmarket. 
The main entry into the Green was by a large gate of timber, 
which was under the charge of the herd of the Green ; it was 
generally kept shut, but always thrown open on public occasions, 
such as reviews and military spectacles, etc. The entry into the 
Green for pedestrians on ordinary occasions was by a small 
turnstile in the form of a cross X , which moved upon a pivot, 
thus preventing access to equestrians. 

At nine o'clock in the morning, and at six o'clock in the 
evening, the cows which pastured on the Green were brought to 
this place of the common to be milked. And I have seen our 
gentlemen golfers, after finishing their morning's sport, stopping 
short here, and with great gusto swigging off a tinful of milk 
reeking warm from the cow, to give them an appetite for their 
breakfasts. In the evenings the scene was very lively, for in all 
directions there were seen well-dressed nursery maids, with their 
little charges, striving who should first get their japanned tinnies 
filled with the warm reaming milk, and ever and anon looking 
sharply around them, lest the great bull ^ (which the Magistrates 
kept in the Green) should be edging towards them. 

money only, women's pattens, from ys to I2s per dozen." (This was the wholesale 
price.) Some few fashionable ladies wore clogs, but this piece of female dress was not 
only more cumbersome, but also much dearer, and less serviceable for encountering 
clarty streets than pattens. 

1 "State of accounts of John Brown, master of work of Glasgow, for October, 
November and December, 1777. 
1777 Paid Ninian Hill for selling a bull . . . £0 z d 

,, ,, 24th March, James Thomson for spreading mole 

hills, &c., in the green . . . . . I o o 

„ „ 9th June, for a bull for the green . . . 3 13 o 

,, ,, 26th June, paid for making a gravel walk in the 

green, being 240 yards long and 1 7 feet broad . 451" 

Council Records, 24th June 1576. — " Item, It is statute by the baillies, counsall and 
commountie that thair be an calf bird, conducit to keip the calfes upon the grein furthe 
of scaythe, wtherwayis gif yai be fundin in scaythe to loe pundit, and also ordanis yame 
yat hes ye freir land in ye brumilaw, to bige ye weir for balding furthe of ye beistis." 

Council Records^ 9th May 1578. — " The quhilk daye Archibald Johnestoun is made, 
and constitute calf hirde, for keiping of the calfis vpone ye greyne, for yis instant zeir, 
and he to halve meit and drink daylie about of yame yat hes ye calfis, togidner with 
vi.d. frae ilk ane yat hes ye saymne, and siclyk frae yame yat hes land besid ye greyne, 


Since the time when Mr, Fleming's saw-mill was demolished 
the Glasgow Green eastward has undergone several alterations, 
particularly by the erection of Monteith Row, of the Camlachie 
Burn at the Calton Green being arched over, and of our old ser- 
pentine walks being nearly all grubbed up. 

At the eastern extremity of the Green the late Mr. Alexander 
Allan attempted to throw an arch over the public footpath which 
leads to Rutherglen Bridge, so as to connect his grounds with the 
river, thereby making a dark tunnel of this public footpath. This 
innovation, however, was successfully opposed by the people of 
Rutherglen, and the footpath kept open. 

Brown, in his History of Glasgoiv, at p. 188, thus writes re- 
garding the Green of Glasgow : — 

"The traveller may here see 100 milk cows giving milk to upwards of 
500 old men, women, and children. Here the aged, the sick, and the young 
receive uncontaminated that natural nourishment, the milk from the cow. This 
beautiful Green affords grass for about 120 cows, of a large size, and of a 
mixed breed, from the Alderney kind, yielding on an average upwards of 1 2 
Scots pints of milk per day, in the summer time," 

Denholm, in his History, at p. 141, informs us that: — 
" The revenue arising from the pasturage of cows on the Green fluctuates 

for keiping of yair comes, and yat no hors be fund thairupone unlangalit \La7igletiie, 
having the fore and hind legs tied together to prevent running. — ^Jamieson], and entir 
to service ye morne, witht power to ye said Archibald to poynd for key or great stirkies. 
Souertie for his seruice and guid reull, James Ritchie, cowper." 

Council Reco7-ds, 26th May 1579. — " Matho Wilsoun is maid and constitut calf hird 
quha hes fund Patrik Bell cautione for adminstratioun in his office, and is ordanit to 
have vi.d. for ilk calf, and his meit daylie about, or ellis xii.d. for ilk melte [Melteth, 
1st, a meal; 2d, the quantity of milk yielded by a cow at one time, — ^Jamieson], gif yai 
failze and to be poyndit y' for." 

Council Records, ist October 1577, — "Item, It is statut yat it sail nocht be leful to 
nowther fre or unfre to bald byhirsalis" \IIirsell, kyrsale, a flock of sheep — a great 
number. "Jock, man, ye're just telling a hirsel o' e'n down lees " (lies). — ^Jamieson.] 

"Item, It is statut and ordanit yat yer be na swyn nor geis haldin nor pasturat 
within the burroruds about the towne, but haldin in houss, vnder ye pant of escheting 

Council Records, 7th May 1574. — "The quhilk day William Kyle is fund in ye 
wrang, for ye taking and intrometting w*.. at his awin hand, but ordour, ane cow gevin 
be him at Alhallovmes last, to Janet Baxtare as tyde \Tydie, pregnant, when applied 
to a cow; also to a woman, as a "tidy bride," one who goes home enceinte to the 
bridegroom's house. — ^Jamieson], for ye first calf and milk, and being in her possessione 
sensyne, and y'' fore is decernit to delyuer to her ane tyde cow, and to satisfe hir for 
ye proffett of calf and milk y' of incontinet and dwme gevin yairon." 


according to their number, the proprietor of each paying £2 for five months' 

Chapman, who published his History in 181 2, states : — 

' Another source of revenue from the Green proceeds from the pasturage 
of cows, for the grazing of each of which during about six months the pro- 
prietors pay _j^3 3s. and 2s. to the keeper, per annum." 

In a report published by Dr. Cleland in 1 8 1 3 he mentions 
that : — 

" In the present situation of the Green, the average number of cows for 
the last three years which have paid a grass fee of ;^3 3s. per head is 127." 1 

"Notice — 1st July, 1794. — Cows will be admitted into the Green at the 
Fair of Glasgow, to graze the remainder of the season, on payment of 25s 
grass mail, and is 6d fee for the herd, for each cow, the day before the Fair.' 
— {Glasgow Advertiser^ 4th July 1794.) 

The following advertisement, showing the rates at which 
cattle were taken in to graze in muir lands and pasture lands is 
curious when compared with the rates charged for grazing cattle 
in the Green of Glasgow : — 

Glasgow Journal, 19th March 1759. — " Cattle for grazing will be taken 
into the Parks of Glanderston on the following terms, viz, — 

Scots. Sterling. 

Into the Moor Park of Walton, for a Cow or Quey, ;^4 o o ;^o 6 8 
For a Stirk, 
For a Horse, 

400 068 

a Cow or Ouey, 600 0100 

300 050 

. 900 0150 

600 o 10 o 

the House, for a 

. 12 o o 100 

. 18 o o I 10 o 

. 12 o o 100 

200 034 

600 o 10 o 

For a Colt of one year old, 

Into the lower Park of Walton, for 

For a Stirk, 

For a Horse, 

For a Colt of one year old. 

Into either of the two Parks near 

Cow or Quey, . 
For a Horse, 
For a Colt of one year old, 

The two last parks being the best for making beef. 
The above prices are all Scots money. 
" None to be admitted into any of the parks before the i oth 
of May, and to be taken out some time in the month of Octo- 
ber thereafter. When put in must acquaint whether for the 
upper or lower Park of Walton." 

1 In 18 16 the grass mail was raised to £^ :4s., and 2s. 6d. to the keeper. There 
were two bulls in the Green in 18 16. 


In 1 8 1 6, when the working classes could not all find employ- 
ment, about 200 weavers were occupied in levelling the upper 
part of the High Green; and in August 18 19, 324 weavers out 
of work were engaged in slope-levelling the High Green and the 
Calton Green, some parts of which required an excavation of from 
six to seven feet, and others a filling up of from eight to ten feet. 

These levelling operations made a considerable change in the 
appearance of some parts of the High Green, more particularly 
on that part of it through which the Camlachie Burn flowed, im- 
mediately to the north-east of the Washing-House and Fountain. 
Here there was a beautiful and romantic dell, with hills on each 
side of it, and the Camlachie Burn, uncontaminated with the city 
filth, gently purling through its centre. It was quite a retired 
spot, and hid from the view of the golfers or strollers on the 
walks of the Green by the rising ground on the south. 

In my early days this was a favourite place of resort of boys 
to amuse themselves with all the juvenile sports and games of 
schoolday times ; and here was the chosen field when a pitched 
battle took place between the youthful combatants, either "w 
hairs" or ''over the napkin!' Many a happy evening have I spent 
in this pretty secluded spot with my companions, playing at the 
"pemiy stanes" at " hap, stap, and jnmp^' at " leap the garter]' at 
'Heap frog',' at ''putting the stane" and other like sports and 
games of youthful days. Amongst other youngsters who took 
pleasure in spending an evening in this retired dell at such ex- 
citing pastimes, I remember that our eminent townsman, the late 
Sir Neil Douglas, stood conspicuous for his dexterity in all the 
athletic and gymnastic performances which might have been going 
on at the place, and was considered as one of the leaders in every 
game which required strength of body and agility of limb. 

By the above-mentioned levelling operations, this romantic dell 
has now passed away, its bosom filled up with filthy rubbish, the 
purling Camlachie Burn arched over, and the Glasgow Green 
thereby connected with the Calton Green ; which operations, 
however useful and necessary, have altogether destroyed the 
primitive amenity of the valley in question as a secluded place of 


This dell has not been generally exhibited in a lucid manner 
in the different maps of Glasgow, the space it occupied being 
represented in them merely as vacant undulated ground ; but in 
the map attached to Stuart's Views of Glasgow it is there laid 
down in a conspicuous manner as a romantic valley, with hills or 
elevated grounds for its north and south boundaries, and the 
Camlachie Burn flowing through its centre. The said dell is seen 
to extend from the Washing- House on the west to the east end 
of the Calton Green, and, so far as my remembrance goes, it is 
there very clearly and correctly shown. 

I am not sure of the exact date when the Washing- House 
was first erected, but I think that it existed in the year 1741. 
M'Ure, who published his History in 1736, does not mention the 
public Washing- House on the Green. He says that the second 
Park (or Green) — 

«' Hath all the summer time between two and three hundred women 
bleaching of linen cloth, and washing linen cloths of all sorts in the river 
Clyde ; and in the midst of this enclosure there is an useful well for cleansing 
the cloths after they are washed in the river : likewise there is a lodge built 
of freestone, in the midst of it, for a shelter to the herd who waits upon the 
horse and cows that are grazed therein." 1 

It appears from the above extract that the process of washing 
and bleaching cloths by the inhabitants of Glasgow was generally 
performed at that time upon the banks of the river itself, but 
that there was a well in the midst of the enclosure for cleansing 
the cloths after they were washed. This well, I presume, was 
the Fountain delineated on the Plan, situated immediately to the 
east of the Washing- House, which, from its low-lying position 
and proximity to the Camlachie Burn, must have been a fine 
spring well, with an abundant flow of water. 

By referring to the Plan of the Green there will be seen a 
building erected upon the bank of the Camlachie Burn, a little to 
the east of the English Chapel, and called "Castle Boins." This 
building was said to have been in old times used as a washing- 
house, and received the name of " Castle Boins " from the number 
of boynes or washing -tubs which were then to have been seen in 

^ The herd's house is shown in the annexed Plan. 



and around it during the washing process, which process was 
mainly performed in the waters of the Camlachie Burn, at the 
time in question a pure and limpid stream.^ 

Ray, in his Itinerary, published in 1661, informs us that the 
customary mode of washing linens at that time in Glasgow was 
for the washerwomen to tuck up their petticoats, and tread the 
linens with their feet in tubs. I have been in the Washing-House 
of the Green of Glasgow, and have there seen more than a score 
of women all at one time trampling their linens in their boynes, 
with up-tucked petticoats ; and so little did they regard my pre- 
sence, that I was allowed to make the circuit of the Washing- 
House without a single woman lowering the folds of her petti- 
coats. This did not arise from want of modesty, but was caused 
by long use and wont, whereby the process was considered of so 
little importance that no one was understood to pay any notice 
to it, as at all indecent or unbecoming. 

From the following extract, it will be seen that the foregoing 
mentioned practice of women washing their foul clothes by tramp- 
ing them with their feet in boynes, was usually done openly in 
the streets of Glasgow, and required the notice of our Magistrates 
to put a stop to it : — 

^ The late Dr. Strang, in his amusing work of Glasgow and its Clubs, has made two 
trifling mistakes as to the Washing-House on the Green. At page 169 he says : "This 
important public establishment was then situated near the spot where Nelson's Monu- 
ment now stands." Now, Nelson's Monument stands on the High Green, close to the 
spot where the herd's house is shown in the Plan ; but the Washing-House was situated 
in the Low Green, within fifteen feet of the Camlachie Bum, as may be seen in the said 
Plan. At page 170 the Doctor says: "Then along the side of the river might be 
seen, in fine weather, the smoke of a hundred black pots, placed in interstices of a wall 
that ran along the margin of the river Clyde," etc. This appears to have been merely 
a little slip of the Doctor's pen, for he was old enough to have remembered that there 
were no vestiges of a wall having once run along the south boundary of the Low Green. 
In my younger days the bank of the river at this place was fenced in merely by a few 
scattered portions of rotten fir stobs, which aflforded little or no protection to the Green 
from speats. Besides, "Castle Boins " shows that in ancient times the washings took 
place on the bank of the Camlachie Bum, which then was a clear and limpid stream 
Mr. Pagan informs us, in his Glasgoiu, Fast and present, at page 31, that " the title- 
deeds of property on the east side of the Saltmarket, written 200 years ago, bear that 
the owners shall have 'free ish and Entry ' by the closes leading to the burn, and that 
they shall also have the privilege o{ ' Fishing therein.'"'' In my boyish days I have 
fished for silver eels in the Camlachie Burn, near the serpentine walks ; and up to the 
close of last century the fishing for eels in the Camlachie Burn, to the east of Bridgeton, 
was quite common amongst young anglers. 


Council Records, nth October 1623. — "Washeriss on the Foregate. — It 
is statut and ordanit that na manner of persone stramp or wesche ony claythis, 
plading, yarne, or ony uther thing in the foregait, or backsyde, quhare they may 
ho. sene, but onhe in housis and private plassis, ilk persone under the pane of 
xi.s. toties quoties." 

It appears from the following advertisement that "Castle 
Boins," and the lands connected with it, came to be resorted to 
by the citizens of Glasgow as a place of amusement and enter- 
tainment, where a tavern had been erected for the sale of herb 
ale, and other change-house potables, the place being then quite 
in the country, and a rural retreat. These lands afterwards were 
occupied as an extensive tannery : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 26th March 1778. — "To be sold, the following Lands: 
— 1st Lot. That well constructed Tannery lately erected on the east side of 
the Episcopal Chapel, adjoining to Camlachie burn, consisting of steep holes, 
lime pits, tan pits, bark lofts, drying lofts, currying room, bark mill, cellars, 
and other conveniences ; together with a good Dwelling House, being the 
most complete work of the kind extant in Glasgow. 2d Lot. That fine 
piece of ground, presently a Gardener's yard, on the side of the Tan-work, 
fronting the Green of Glasgow (commonly called Hoodie's yard), with the 
pleasant Rural Tavern or Change house and offices upon it, which has always 
been much frequented, and remarkable for Herb Ale. — Apply to Claud 
Marshall, writer in Glasgow." 

A portion of the above-mentioned lands was acquired by 
David Dale, and formed a part of his garden. When Greendyke 
Street came to be widened, a small slice of the said garden was 
purchased by the city of Glasgow for improving this locality. 
This is seen by the published report of Dr. Cleland on the 
intended city improvements, of date 18 13. The report states as 
follows : — 

" The approach from the bottom of the Saltmarket to the Calton Green is 
to be by a street sixty feet wide, the north side of which will be formed by 
running nearly a straight line from the south side of the brick wall which is 
formed a little to the west of the Episcopal chapel to the south-east corner of 
the Rev. Dr. Lockhart's property in Charlotte Street, touching the south side 
of the south wing of the Misses Dale's house in that street. This street is 
then to be connected with Great Hamilton Street by another one of fifty feet 
wide, forming an obtuse angle with it, the west side of which will be described 
by the east wall of the Charlotte Street gardens. A street of fifty feet wide is 



then to be formed in front of the building lots on the Calton Green, and the 
sides of all the streets which are next the Green are to be formed with parapet 
walls and iron railings. Exclusive of these approaches, the other entries into 
the Green are to be kept open, particularly that from St. Andrew's Square, 
down by the Episcopal chapel, and from Charlotte Street, William Street, 
John Street, from openings in the intended Calton Green buildings, and from 
the head of the Green leading to Rutherglen Bridge." 

The above intended improvements, with some alterations for 
the better, were shortly afterwards carried into effect. 

About the year 1861 the land where Castle Boins stood was 
purchased by John Henderson, Esq., of Park, and on it he built 
a church or chapel for the accommodation of that district of the 
city. The property is thus described in the disposition granted 
by Mr. Robert Young to Mr. Henderson in the year 1861, 
viz. — 

" All and whole, that piece of ground near the Episcopal chapel, and also 
near where formerly stood a house called ' Castle Boynes,' through which 
piece of ground the Molendinar Burn at one time did run, containing 263 
square yards and 18 square feet, or thereby, bounded on the east by the 
property sometime of David Dale, Esq.; on the west by the stone bridge or 
arch over the said burn, leading to the said chapel ; on the north to the pro- 
perty formerly of the said John Burns, above described ; on the south by the 
house called ' Castle Boynes,' and by the street or road leading from the Old 
Bridge to St. Mungo's Lane, or ' Burnt Barns,' at the back of the Green 
dyke ; which piece of ground is now included, and forms part of the tanwork 
lying within the Burgh of Glasgow." 

With regard to the Washing-House on the Green of Glasgow, 
it is said that a small building was erected close to the Camlachie 
Burn for a washing establishment about the year 1732, and that 
water was pumped into it from the said burn by means of a wind- 
mill, but no machinery was required to supply " Castle Boins " 
with water, as its whole northern front j'oined the Camlachie Burn 
itself, whereby direct covered access to the said burn was obtained 
from the washing premises. 

The original public Washing-House appears to have received 
various additions at different times ; in particular, in the year 
1807 its extent was more than doubled, so that the annexed 
Plan refers only to its state a century ago. It was before these 


additions were made that I visited the said Washing- House, on 
which occasion the whole of the four sides of the inside area 
were occupied by above a hundred washerwomen doing their work 
comfortably under cover, while a large circular stone reservoir of 
water stood in the centre of the building with ready access to it 
on all sides, and numerous fires blazed under cover, on which 
boilers were placed all round, the tacksman being obliged to 
provide hot and cold water to the washers. The Washing-House 
did not join the Camlachie Burn, but stood a little to the south 
of it. The inhabitants of the Calton had easy access to the said 
Washing-House by means of a bridge across the Camlachie Burn, 
situated immediately to the north of the washerie. 

Many very respectable females, of bein means, took the advan- 
tage of using the public Washing-House for their domestic wash- 
ings, and personally tramped the tub along with the throng of the 
place. I have known females, even in the rank of ladies, who 
duffed their brazus, and dressing themselves " eoinme Blanehisseuses" 
took their stand at the washing boyne cheek by jole with the 
ordinary washerwomen. 

It appears from Chapman, page 6"], that at this time the 
Washing-House produced a considerable revenue to the city. 
He says — " It has been let for £,6qo per annum, but since the 
introduction of water by pipes into the town the rent has been 
much reduced. It is let from 1811 to 18 12 at ;^2 84." This 
defalcation seems to have arisen from the citizens being enabled 
to perform their washing operations at home, seeing that they 
possessed an abundant supply of water within their respective 
dwellings, from the Glasgow Waterworks, established in 1806, 
and the Cranston Hill Waterworks, set agoing in 1808. To 
which may be added the extension of the city to the west, and 
the general change in residence of the better classes of the com- 
munity to the western districts. The dues of the Washing-House 
were collected in the clerk's lodge, situated near the Burnt Barns, 
east end of Greendyke Street, at the entrance into the Low Green 
opposite the Big Tree, which lodge stood within the boundaries 
of the Low Green. 

The dues payable at the said Washing-House were — 

THE "BIG TREE." 155 

For hot and cold water of one day's washing, without the use of 

tubs and stools ........ 4d. 

For use of a washing-tub and washing-stool for one day . . ijd. 
Watching through the night a day's washing of clothes . . 3d. 
Boiling clothes in a large boiler ...... 8d. 

Three pailfuls of warm water for rinsing . . . . .id. 

Any citizen might have bleached clothes on the Green which had 
been washed at home without charges, and might have kindled a 
fire to warm water in pots for the washings, and might also have 
washed at the side of the river without paying any dues to the 

A little to the west of the Washing- House there stood on the 
Green (see the Plan) the celebrated "Big Tree" so often mentioned 
by our Glasgow historians, under whose umbrageous shelter tradi- 
tion says that the ladies of Glasgow assembled to view the grand 
muster of the wild Highland host of Prince Charles in January 

Our learned fellow -townsman. Dr. Mathie Hamilton, thus 
describes the Green of Glasgow and its " Big Tree " as the same 
appeared in the year 1800 : — 

"At that period the Low Green was often inundated, and presented 
various inequalities of surface, but in most parts of it was seen a fine coat of 
verdure, the grass being long and well adapted for grazing ; also many stately 
trees were there all along and inside the wall above noted. These trees 
extended from the gate which was opposite Saltmarket to the commencement 
of what was called the 'Serpentine' walks at the south end of Charlotte Street. 
These walks went over the ground on which Monteith Row is now built, and 
on towards the eastern limits of the Green, and were much used as a prom- 
enade, giving a romantic and sylvan aspect to this favourite place of resort. 
One very large elm-tree deserves notice here, as in a plan of the Green, 
published in the Glasgoxu Magazine in 1783, the site of that once celebrated 
tree is omitted. It stood quite alone on the Laigh Green, in front of the old 
Washing- House, and at the bend of the ancient gravel walk, which was 
between the Washing- House and the tree, the latter being west and south 
from the entrance through the Greendyke from Charlotte Street. That tree 
was distinguished from all others by its insular position, its size, and its being 
so well adapted to give shelter from a sudden shower, or the solar rays. It 
was called the 'Big Tree,' and about the year 1800 it was an ornament pleas- 
ing to behold, when, during the summer months, its widespread branches 
were covered with dark-green foliage. This once famous tree afforded cover 
for a fev/ minutes to General Lord Moira, his numerous staff, and a Guard of 


Honour, on the day of the grand review in 1804. It has been asserted that 
the said ancient tree was the original represented in the city arms, but this, 
of course, is quite apocryphal. This tree being in a state of decay, and being 
in the way of modern improvement, was removed, along with various other 
relics of bygone ages." 

The Low Green of Glasgow was not only the usual place for 
holding military displays and reviews, but was also the locality 
where the guilty soldier received martial punishment for his trans- 
gressions, either by whipping or by his being drummed out of the 
regiment as a rogue and a vagabond, unworthy to associate with 
his fellow-soldiers. When soldiers were punished in the Green 
for their misdeeds by whipping, the executioner was generally one 
of the drummers of the regiment, and the punishment was usually 
pretty severe ; more so than the whippings of the Glasgow hang- 
man inflicted upon those condemned at our Circuit Courts for 
theft or robbery. 

As spectacles of military floggings caused great crowds to 
assemble in the Green to behold the delinquents punished, the said 
spectacles often ended in riot and disturbance to the public, in 
consequence of which it became necessary and usual to have 
military whippings inflicted privately in the Guard-house, situated 
at the corner of the Candleriggs. 

In August 1750 a serious dispute arose between the Magis- 
trates and citizens of Glasgow on the one part, and the military 
then quartered in Glasgow on the other part, regarding the death 
of a soldier who was found dead in a cornfield near the New 
Vennel. On the 20th of August 17 50 a Highland soldier was 
shot in the Green of Glasgow for desertion. On this occasion 
the populace of the city appear to have taken the part of the 
deserter, and to have been on bad terms with both the officers 
and privates of the regiment to which the deserter belonged. 
The following account of this affair is taken from the Scots Maga- 
zine of August 1750, at pages 395 and 449. 

On the 20th of August 1750 John M'Leod, a soldier, was 
shot at Glasgow for desertion. Two others, under sentence for 
the same crime, were first reprieved, and afterwards transported. 
On this occasion some ill humour arose between the people and 


the soldiers. A threatening letter unsigned, was sent to the 
Colonel ; some soldiers were knocked down in the streets, under 
night, and one was found dead in a cornfield near the town on 
the 23d. On notice of the above anonymous letter, the Magis- 
trates by a proclamation offered ;^io sterling to any person 
who should discover the author of it ; requiring the inhabitants 
to behave discreetly to the soldiers, and promising £10 sterling 
for discovering any person that should contravene this order. 
An advertisement was published in the G/asg-oza Journal of August 
27 by the officers, bearing that there was great reason to believe 
that Joseph Kinnelly, the soldier found dead as above, was mur- 
dered by persons unknown, and offering fifty guineas for discover- 
ing the murderer or murderers ; ten guineas for discovering the 
author of the anonymous letter above mentioned, and five guineas 
for discovering any person that had been or should be guilty of 
knocking down or wounding any soldier. P.S. — In the next 
Journal, that of 3d September, was inserted by order of the 
Magistrates the following report signed by Messrs. James Stewart, 
surgeon's mate of the regiment, and James Muir and John Craw- 
ford,^ surgeons in Glasgow, dated 23d August, and addressed 
"To Mr. William Weir, Sheriff-substitute for the Shire of Lanark," 

" Sir — According to your order we have inspected the corpse of Joseph 
Kinnelly, soldier, and found no marks of violence, or any reason to say he 
hath been murdered." 

This produced another advertisement in the papers of lOth 
September signed by Col. Will. Herbert, Lt.-Col. Jo, Gray, Capt. 
Mark Ranton and Rich. Russell, and Lieut, and Adj. Robert 
Gordon, viz. — 

'• Lest the world may imagine from the report of the surgeons (above 
inserted), that the Officers of the Hon. Col. Herbert's regiment had no reasons 
for their advertisement (above mentioned), they, therefore, pubhsh the follow- 
ing circumstances, which they hope the impartial world will think were sufficient 
grounds for said advertisement," viz. — •' It is notorious that a most unjust 
resentment was expressed by several persons in Glasgow, on the occasion of 

1 This gentleman appears to have been fortunate in a lottery speculation. Glasgmu 
Jojirjial, 3d November 1755. — " Last week, Mr. John Crawford, Surgeon in Glasgow, 
had a prize of ;^50Q in the present lottery." 


the execution of John M'Leod, late a soldier in the aforesaid regiment, and who 
was shot the 20th of August last, for desertion to the rebels in January 1745-6, 
which resentment has manifestly appeared ; ist, by a letter directed to the com- 
manding officer of said regiment, filled with scandalous aspersions and threats, 
for murdering M'Leod, as the writer termed it ; 2d, by several soldiers of the 
regiment being knocked down in the streets with bludgeons, the evenings 
preceding and succeeding the day on which Kinnelly was found dead in a 
cornfield near to the town ; 3d, by people said to be lying in wait for officers 
of the regiment, and their lives threatened to be taken away, all which has 
appeared by the oaths of several persons ; 4th, by two persons that fled or 
absconded upon information being given in against them and summonses 
issued for their appearance before a civil magistrate ; lastly, the surgeons, 
upon being asked, on oath, if the same appearances might have been on the 
body of the deceased if he had been murdered? — declared that they might. 
And though none of these appearances determined them in the least to think 
the man was murdered, it was not impossible but he might have been murdered 
notwithstanding. All which makes the officers continue to think that there is 
great reason to believe that Joseph Kinnelly was murdered ; therefore they 
repeat the reward of fifty guineas, as expressed in the Glasgow Jotirnal of date 
the 27th August last." 

The Magistrates of Glasgow caused insert in the Glasgow and 
Edinburgh papers the following answer to the advertisement 
published by the officers of Colonel Herbert's regiment : — 

"Glasgow, 17th September 1750. — The magistrates ^ are extremely con- 
cerned that the officers of the Hon. Col. Herbert's regiment seemed to be 
impressed with a belief that Joseph Kinnelly, late soldier, was murdered, and 
this upon evidence which, with submission, has no manner of weight. The 
inhabitants of Glasgow have been so much distinguished for their attachment 
to the present happy Government under his Majesty (Geo, H.), and have 
showed such respect to the gentlemen of the army, that they see with amaze- 
ment the necessity they are under of justifying themselves in a public manner, 
having been accused in a printed advertisement. 

" There rarely happens in any place an execution of criminals, but some 
people are wicked enough to censure the justice of it ; but that the people of 
Glasgow should express any resentment that a deserter to the rebels should be 
executed, is what the world will not easily believe. They appeal to the honour 
and consciences of their accusers, and to their own conduct when they lay at 
the mercy of the rebel army with the Pretender at its head. This desertion 
was a fact hardly known to any of the inhabitants before the advertisement 
published by the officers. They believe this is the first time that ever an 

^ John Murdoch, provost ; Geo. Black, Wm. Dunlop, Thos. Scott, bailies ; George 
Murdoch, dean of guild ; Robert Finlay, convener ; the latter was partner of the Old 
Tannery Co., and when master of work, superintended the demolition of Mr. Fleming's 



anonymous letter was produced as an evidence. It is in the power of every 
person living to write such a letter ; and, consequently, at that rate, in the 
power of any wicked or malicious person to accuse the most innocent. Who 
is there that can be protected by the laws of the land, if an anonymous letter can 
rob him of his innocence and convict him of the basest crimes ? The magis- 
trates have offered a reward of ^50 to any who shall discover the author or 
accomplices of this infamous piece of malice. 

" That there was a crowd both from town and country gathered as usual 
at the place of execution, is true ; some of whom from a foolish curiosity, and 
the narrowness of the ground, pressing too near the soldiers, were punished 
on the spot, by being very severely beat by the adjutant, and some of them not 
of the lower rank of people. It is also true, that there have been squabbles 
between the soldiers and the inhabitants, which in populous places all over the 
kingdom of Great Britain, has often happened ; and if the magistrates had at 
that time had notice given them when the inquiry was made before the sheriff, 
the particulars might have appeared with greater clearness and impartiality. 
But they cannot but remark an affectation of using the word bludgeon, ^ an 
instrument never heard of by the inhabitants of Glasgow, which may be better 
known to the common soldiers, yet is not once mentioned in the precognition 
before the sheriffs. If the magistrates had any inclination to recriminate, 
they could easily bring proofs of many insults and acts of violence with clubs 
and otherwise, committed by soldiers, whose names are unknown, against the 
inhabitants and even the constables, whose duty it is to make their rounds at 
night to preserve the peace ; but they choose rather to draw a veil over all 
circumstances that may tend to inflame these unhappy disputes. 

" The magistrates are at a loss to know the foundation of the assertion, 
* That persons were lying in wait against officers.' This does not appear in 
the precognition, though taken ex parte. 

" It is with the utmost regret the magistrates observe that one Hamilton, 
said to be living in the country, had uttered some foolish threatening expres- 
sions with the regard to Col. Herbert, a gentleman of great honour and worth, 
and for whom they have the highest respect. They never heard of it till they 
saw the officers' advertisement, and wish they had been acquainted with it 
sooner. They immediately called the persons said to be present, and found it 
was one Robert Hamilton, living in a neighbouring parish in the country, said 
to be very drunk at the time. The provost, as justice of the peace for the 
shire, instantly issued a warrant for apprehending and imprisoning him. They 
are told he left the country about three weeks ago. The strictest inquiry is 
making for him, and it is hoped he will be found, and punished for his most 
wicked expressions ; and the magistrates have, by a public edict through the 
whole streets of the city, offered a reward of ^50 to any who shall bring proof 

^ Johnson defines the word "bludgeon, a short stick with one end loaded." Jamie- 
son, in his Scottish Dictionary, has not the word bludgeon. The nearest Scotch word 
to bludgeon is "cud," "a strong staff," a "club"; but a club is not a stick loaded ^.i 
one end, but crooked at one end, for playing at the shinty or golf. The Scotch " cud " 
is the English " cudgel," 


of threatening expressions, or acts of violence against the Colonel or any of his 
officers. This Hamilton is the only person who has fled or absconded, and he 
is not an inhabitant of the city. 

" As to the supposed murder of the soldier, the magistrates refer to the 
annexed affidavits, and they cannot but observe that if the report of the sur- 
geons, viz. — ' That it was not impossible but that he might have been 
murdered,' is an evidence of his having been actually murdered, every man or 
woman that ever died or shall die of a natural death, may by this method of 
evidence be proved to have died of a violent one. 

" The magistrates must again repeat the concern they are under on being 
obliged to publish their opinion of this whole affair. They had rather choose 
merely to lay the case before his Majesty's servants ; but since the officers 
have thought fit to appeal to the public in print, the magistrates could not be 
answerable to the inhabitants, to the public, or to themselves, but by stating 
these facts and observations in the manner they have done : and they beg leave 
to express as great a detestation of disturbing his Majesty's Government as 
those can do under whose bad opinion they have had the misfortune to fall. 
They hope they have given no offence — at least none but v/hat the laws of 
God and man have vested in innocence. They are so fully sensible of the late 
favour and justice they obtained from his Majesty,^ as to be very uneasy under 
any circumstances tending to lessen the reputation of loyalty and zeal for all 
the branches of his Majesty's authority, which they flatter themselves they had 
acquired, and which they will ever endeavour to deserve. 

'^Agjies Weir's Affidavit^ Sept. s^/t, 1750. 

" ' Agnes Weir, brewer in Glasgow, examined, declares — That on Thursday 
the 23d of August last, about four in the morning, she saw Joseph Kinnelly, 
soldier, in the street called New Vennel, and saw him knock oftener than once 
at the door of John M'Kean's house, where she was told he lodged, as if he 
wanted to get in ; and afterwards saw him walk down the Vennel towards the 
Dovehill, where she heard his corpse was afterwards found. Declares — She 
saw no person along with Kinnelly, and knows not, nor did she observe if he 
was in liquor or not : but declares — About five of the clock said morning, a 
soldier, who then lodged in Robert Ewing's, and who was going to make brick, 
told her he had found Kinnelly among the corn, and that he was dead ; and 
another soldier, who lodged in the same house with Kinnelly, upon her asking 
what had been the cause of Kinnelly's death, he answered that Kinnelly always 
tied his stock too strait, and that he had not been in his quarters for two 
nights, from which he apprehended he (Kinnelly) had been in Hquor. And 
this she declares to be truth, as she shall answer to God; and depones she 
cannot write.'" 

^ In 1745-6 the rebels under Prince Charles occupied Glasgow for ten days, and 
their exactions in money and goods cost the city upwards of ;i{^i5,ooo. On the 14th of 
June 1749, on application of the Magistrates to Parliament, they received ;^ 10,000 as 
remuneration for the losses they had sustained during the Rebellion. 


" The Surgeons' Report^ affirmed upon oath. 

••♦At Glasgow, the 6th day of September, 1750 years. In consequence 
of a petition presented to the Sheriff of Lanark upon the 3 1 st of August last, 
by James Stewart, surgeon to the Hon. Col. Herbert's regiment of foot, presently 
quartered in Glasgow, craving to the effect under written : In presence of 
William Weir, sheriff-substitute of the said shire, the said James Stewart, James 
Muir, and John Crawfurd, surgeons in Glasgow, being interrogated upon oath, 
they each of them depone affirmative to a report made and signed by them, and 
directed to the said sheriff-substitute, upon 23d of August last, in consequence of 
an order directed to them for inspecting the corpse of Joseph Kinnelly, soldier 
in the forementioned regiment, deceased ; and being interrogate, at the desire 
of Captain Russell, of the forementioned regiment. If they found any blotching 
about Kinnelly's neck, or under any of his ears ? they depone — They found his 
neck, shoulders, and sides of a thickish livid colour, and more remarkably upon 
the one side of his face and neck than on the other, which they imagined pro- 
ceeded from that being the most depending part of his body at the time of or 
soon after his death. And depone — That before they inspected the corpse, the 
body had been moved out of the posture in which the defunct was at the time of 
his death : but depone — They were told by a soldier at the time they inspected 
the corpse that he had found the corpse with his head inclining aside, and rather 
lower than the rest of his body ; and being interrogate, at the desire of the lord 
provost of Glasgow (John Murdoch, Jun., Esq.), Whether in the course of their 
practice they have not seen dead bodies of a livid colour, such as Kinnelly's was 
at the time of their inspection, when the person deceased had neither been 
strangled nor murdered t depone affirmative; and that it is common for the body 
to be most livid on the part most depending at the person's expiring, or soon 
after. And being interrogate by Adj. Gordon, Whether the same appearances 
might not have been on Kinnelly's body if he had been murdered ? and whether 
they can say he was not ? they depone — That the same appearances might have 
been upon the body of Kinnelly had he been murdered, but that none of these 
appearances in the least determined them to think that he was murdered ; and 
it is not impossible but he might have been murdered notwithstanding : for 
from the inspection of any corpse whatsoever, they cannot say it is impossible 
that they were murdered. And being further interrogate by the lord provost. 
Whether in their opinion Kinnelly's death did not proceed from some other 
cause than his being either strangled or murdered ; the said James Muir and 
John Crawfurd severally depone — That in their opinion Kinnelly's death pro- 
ceeded from some other cause than his being strangled or murdered : and the 
said James Stewart depones — That when he first saw the body of Kinnelly, it 
had the appearance of a person that had been strangled ; but that he cannot 
say but the appearance might proceed from another cause. And the premises 
they depone to be truth, as they shall answer to God.' " 

(^N.B. — An order was soon after issued for this regiment's 
marching to England.) 



Four orphans in 1 741 — M'Call's Black House — Prince Charlie in Glasgow in 1745 — 
His appearance described — Review of his host — The Glasgow Royal Volunteers in 
1778 — Mutiny at Leith — Collision between Magistrates and J.P.'s — Recruiting as 
practised in 1778 — Population and Mortality Bill of Glasgow in 1777. 

It is extremely unpleasant, in loose jottings of the present 
description, to make any allusion to family matters ; but as the 
following anecdotes have reference to the ancestors of several 
individuals to whom the citizens of Glasgow are greatly indebted, 
not only for their public services, but also for the liberal use of 
their purses on every occasion when pecuniary assistance has been 
needed, I hope that my apology for introducing the subject will 
be forgiven. 

When Prince Charles, with his rebel host, arrived in Glasgow 
in 1745, and when the foregoing dispute between the Magistrates 
of Glasgow and the military took place in 1750, there lived by 
themselves four young misses in their paternal mansion at the 
the corner of the Cow Loan and Westergate. This dwelling was 
an old-fashioned house of two storeys and offices, with an extensive 
back garden, stretching a considerable way up the Cow Loan, 
now Queen Street, and embracing a large portion of Miller Street. 
It was then a rural spot, being separated from the city by the 
West Port, and only a few thatch houses and malt-kilns lay 
scattered along the Westergate, many of which remained there to 
my day. 

The mother of these four misses died in 1739, immediately 
after having given birth to the youngest of them, and their father 
died in 1741. 


The eldest of these four misses at the time of their father's 
death was only in the thirteenth year of her age, and the youngest 
an infant of two years old. Many of our citizens remember well 
the site of the dwelling of these four misses at the south corner 
of Queen Street. The trustees of the said four misses sold the 
property to Samuel M'Call (bailie in 1723), who built his large 
mansion on it, commonly known as " M'Call's Black House " — 
one of the finest specimens in Glasgow of the old Virginia lord's 
dwellings. The stones of which it was built were dug from the 
Black Quarry, which stones turn black on exposure to the action 
of the atmosphere. A very accurate representation of Mr. M'Call's 
Black House, with its forty windows, and projecting double stair, 
as the same stood in 1794, is seen in Stuart's Views of Glasgow, at 
page 104. Mr. M'Call's house was purchased by a Mr. Glen, who 
demolished it to make room for the present south-east corner 
tenement of Queen Street ; and again this corner tenement, having 
been found insecure by the Dean of Guild Court, has just under- 
gone a curious and scientific alteration, by which the sunk and 
ground floors have been taken down and rebuilt, while the three 
upper flats remained intact during the whole process of rebuilding 
the lower ones, thus exhibiting a fine specimen of masonic skill. 

The property in the Westergate, at the north-west corner of 
Dunlop Street, extending westward to Turner's Court, also be- 
longed to these four sisters, and was let to Mr. Miller of Wester- 
ton for his extensive malting establishment. The trustees of the 
said four sisters sold the corner stance to Bailie John Shortridge 
about the middle of last century, on which stance Mr. Shortridge 
erected the large corner tenement of Dunlop Street now known 
as " Shortridge's Land." 

I remember about seventy years ago the west part of this 
property, which had been let to Mr. Miller of Westerfon for malt 
kilns and barns, still standing between Shortridge's Land and the 
now Turner's Court. A century ago it formed part of my mater- 
nal grandfather's estate, which had descended to his four daughters 
above mentioned. 

Our learned antiquarian citizen, John Buchanan, Esquire, in 
Glasgow, Past and Present, vol. i., pages 5 i 3, 5 14, has given us an 


interesting account of this property, in the course of explaining 
how the north entry to Dunlop Street came to be formed in so 
narrow and unsightly a manner. The property, now 87 Stock- 
well, was also the inheritance of these four misses. It consisted 
of fourteen dwelling-houses, all of which were burned down in one 
night, and not insured. They stood opposite Stockwell Place. 

But to return to the four misses who, after the death of their 
father in 1741, continued to keep house together, under the able 
management of their eldest sister, then little more than twelve 
years of age. 

When Prince Charles and his Highland host came to Glasgow 
in 1745 the eldest sister, Agnes, was then sixteen years of age ; 
the second, Isabella, fourteen ; the third, Elizabeth, twelve ; and 
the youngest, Janet, seven years of age. On the arrival of the 
rebels in 1745, two Highland soldiers were quartered upon these 
four defenceless misses, living together with a servant, out of the 
bounds of the city, and without a male protector residing in their 
dwelling to whose support they could have applied in case of 
insult or wanton rudeness. The soldiers so quartered on the said 
misses were two poor ragged creatures without shoes or stockings, 
who could not speak a word of English ; but fortunately they 
were very civil, and gave little trouble to the misses, who on their 
part treated them kindly. All that these soldiers required was a 
bed, and liberty to dress their meals at the kitchen fire, which 
meals consisted almost wholly of oatmeal porridge and barley 
bannocks. Many of the Highland soldiers, however, at this time 
plundered the citizens of their effects, without the lieges being 
able to obtain any redress. As an instance of military violence 
in Glasgow at this time it may be stated that a Highland soldier, 
having met a joiner on the public street going to his work with 
his hammer in his hand, took a fancy to the joiner's glittering 
shoe buckles, and insolently proceeded to take possession of them 
by force ; but while the soldier was stooping down and unloosing 
the buckles from the joiner's shoes, the latter resisted the attempt, 
and with a sudden blow on the plunderer's head with his hammer, 
knocked him down, and then instantly fled, without waiting to 
see whether the blow had been fatal or not, Such robberies 


were common by the Highlanders when not in presence of their 

As to the four misses, Agnes the eldest of them, and the 
house manager, became the grandmother of our late Lord Provost, 
Sir Andrew Orr, and his immediate agnates, also of Mrs. Bell, 
wife of David Bell, Esq., etc. 

Isabella, the second of them, became the grandmother of 
James Smith, Esq., of Jordanhill, of Lord Provost William Smith, 
of Dean of Guild William Brown, and of William Euing, Esq., 
and the great-grandmother of Sheriff Smith, etc. Elizabeth, the 
third of the said sisters, was my mother, who has left a numerous 
race of descendants now alive, upwards of fifty in number. Janet, 
the youngest, became proprietor of Greenlaw, now the General 
Terminus. She married her cousin, Francis Reid of Greenlaw, 
but left no issue. 

All these four sisters respectively lived in Glasgow till they 
became matrons of eighty-three to eighty-five years of age, and 
one of their daughters reached the great age of loi years. The 
rebels entered Glasgow on the 25 th December, and my mother 
informed me that she had had a good opportunity of seeing the 
different Highland regiments while they lay in Glasgow during 
the Rebellion of 1745, as her place of residence was then situated 
at the south-east corner of the Cow Loan (now Queen Street), 
and as detachments of these regiments marched daily along the 
Westergate, and turned up the Cow Loan, immediately before 
the door of the above-mentioned four sisters, and then proceeded 
eastward by the Back Cow Loan (now Ingram Street), thereby 
making a circuit through the central parts of the city. My mother 
further mentioned to me that one day when Prince Charles was 
marching at the head of one of these detachments, she stood so 
close to him that she could have touched him with her hand. 
She also stated that he was a handsome good-looking man, but 
that his countenance appeared rather sombre and melancholy. I 
remember when a boy that we had a bust of Prince Charles 
standing in our lobby, but it having received some damage, was 
laid aside, and I never could learn what became of it. 

While in Glasr^ow, Charles lived in the house of John Glassford 


of Dougalston, situated in the Trongate, fronting Stockwell Street, 
which splendid seat had formerly been the celebrated Shawfield 
Mansion. The large garden (now Glassford Street) connected 
with it on the north had an entry into the Back Cow Loan, which 
remained entire down to my day. The Chevalier having extorted 
from the citizens a heavy levy of shirts, shoes, hose, waistcoats, 
and bonnets, and having new clothed his ragged troops with them, 
he treated the inhabitants of Glasgow with a grand review, on 
the Green of the city, of his newly-clothed ragamuffins, who 
marched to the Green by way of the Saltmarket, in splendid 
military array, with colours flying, drums beating, and the skirling 
notes of the Highland piobaireachd resounding from the pipes of 
every clan. On the next day, being the 3d of January 1746, 
the Prince with his motley crew evacuated Glasgow, to the great 
joy of its inhabitants, who almost to a man were hostile to them.^ 
On the 1st of July 1778, there was another grand review on 
the Green of Glasgow of the " Glasgow Royal Volunteers ;" a 
military display most gratifying to all ranks of the inhabitants of 
the city, who took the greatest interest in the welfare of these 
voluntary militants. 

Glasgow Mercury, 2d July 1778. — "On Tuesday evening Major-General 
Skene arrived in town, and yesterday (ist July), he reviewed in the Green the 
Glasgow Royal Volunteers. The General was highly pleased with the appear- 
ance of the regiment, and expressed his warmest acknowledgments to Lieut. - 
Col. Fotheringham and the other officers for their having brought such a 
number of men in so short a time so forward in their exercise as to be nothing 
short of veteran troops. The exactness with which they performed their 
different manoeuvres received the General's high approbation, and gave great 
satisfaction to a vast crowd of spectators. The corps was about 900 strong, 
and only one or two rejected. After the review the General gave an elegant 
entertainment to the magistrates of the city, and many other gentlemen." 

When we see the present lamentable state of starvation of the 

1 The Glasgow Volunteers fought against the rebels at the battle of Falkirk on the 
17th January 1746, and suffered greatly that day, the Highlanders being inveterately 
hostile to them upon old scores. Francis Crawfurd, Esq., afterwards deacon convener, 
the grandfather of George Crawfurd, Esq., carried the colours of the volunteers at this 
memorable battle, and Henry Monteith, a country gardener, the grandfather of the late 
Provost Henry Monteith of Carstairs, M.P., joined the Glasgow regiment, and was 
present at the battle of Falkirk, where he, along with every member of that loyal regi- 
ment, behaved most valiantly, though unsuccessfully. 



handloom weavers of Glasgow, it is curious to look back to the 
old times, when these industrious operatives, in place of receiving 
public assistance, liberally subscribed, of their own accord, a 
handsome contribution towards the fund for raising the regiment 
of the " Glasgow Royal Volunteeers." 

"Glasgow, January 8th 1778. — The subscription for raising troops in 
support of Government goes on with great alacrity, and the following letter, 
addressed to the lord provost, from a few journeymen weavers, will show the 
ardent loyalty of this place. 

'At Glasgow, January 5th 1778, present, 
James Ewing, preses, David Jack, collector, 
Robert Miller, John Aitken, James Aitken, James Marshall, John Robertson, 
Alexander Brown, William Boyle, WiUiam Esson, Wm. Hunter, Alexander 
Provan, James Bell, Thomas Buchanan, Daniel M'Farlane, and George Shaw, 
of the 'Old North Quarter Society' of journeymen weavers in Glasgow, offer 
their compliments to your lordship, the lord provost of Glasgow, and hope you 
will accept of the small sum of fifty pounds sterling, in name of our society, as 
a testimony of loyalty to Government, and a hearty concurrence with your 
lordship's laudable proposal to raise a regiment by the city of Glasgow, to 
serve his Majesty as the exigency of the affairs shall require. We beg to know 
of your lordship when the money will be called for, and in what manner; and 
we will give it for the above purpose, but for none other whatever. — My lord, 
we are your lordship's humble and obedient servants, James Ewing, preses.'" 

The subscription to raise the regiment of the Royal Glasgow 
Volunteers commenced early in January 1778, and we find that 
in less than a week upwards of ;^50oo had been subscribed for 
that purpose. 

Glasgow Mercury, 8th January 1778. — "Besides the generous and ample 
subscriptions from many private gentlemen, for raising the Glasgow regiment, 
public bodies have subscribed the sums following — 

1 ne \-uy oi oiabguw 
The Trades' House 























Gardeners . . . . . . . ^loo 

Masons ....... loo 

Bonnet Makers and Dyers .... 20 

Fleshers . . . . .- . . 350 


The Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons 100 guineas, and 
the Faculty of Procurators 1 00 guineas ; Lord Frederick Campbell, 
member for the district of boroughs, ;^5oo ; and by the 21st of 
January the sums subscribed amounted to ^9600. 

Glasgow Mercury, 29th January 1778. — "The Honourable Major-General 
Alexander Leslie, now in America, Lieut. -Col. of the 64th regiment, and 
brother to the Earl of Leven, is appointed Colonel of the Glasgow regiment. 
Alexander Fotheringham Ogilvie, Esq., Lieut.-Col. by brevet from the 25th 
regiment, is appointed Lieut.-Col. ; and Mr. James Butters, Sergeant-Major 
of the 25th, is appointed Adjutant." 

"On Friday evening last (23d January 1778), about eleven o'clock, the 
adjutant of the Glasgow Volunteers arrived here, and brought recruiting orders ; 
in consequence of which, the magistrates and inhabitants, actuated by that 
zeal for the honour and prosperity of their country, which has on many former 
occasions distinguished this loyal city, eminently exerted themselves in pro- 
moting the present business. On Monday, at noon, the bells were set a 
ringing ; the magistrates and town council, the deacons of the fourteen incor- 
porated trades, and a great number of gentlemen, convened in the council 
chamber, from whence the following procession began. 

1. The city sergeants to clear the way. 

2. The magistrates. 

3. The adjutant of the regiment. 

4. The colours, borne by two young gentlemen, supported by other two 

with guns and fixed bayonets. 

5. The sergeants of the regiment. 

6. Two young gentlemen playing on fifes. 

7. Two young gentlemen beating drums (one of whom was John Wardrop, 

Esq., the uncle of William Euing, Esq.) 

8. A gentleman playing on the bagpipes (James Finlay, the father of Kirk- 

man Finlay, Esq.) 

9. The members of the town council, the late deacon convener (John Craig), " 

the present convener (Hugh Niven, being at London), and the deacons 
of the fourteen corporations, three and three. 
I o. The sovereign of the Cape Club, supported by two of the members. 
1 1. A great number of gentlemen with cocades in their hats. 

" When the procession reached the guard house (corner of Candleriggs) 
where the first proclamation for volunteers was made, the party of the 2d 



battalion of Royal Scots, who were on guard, turned out and presented their 
arms during the time of the proclamation, and while the procession passed. 
After they had paraded through the lower part of the town, they went up the 
High Street as far as the College, and returned and continued the procession 
to the Saracen's Head Inn, in the Gallowgate, where an elegant entertainment 
was prepared for them. After regaling themselves for some time, and having 
ordered several casks of porter to be given to the populace, who were assembled 
about a large bonfire, kindled upon the occasion, the procession again began 
with torch light, and an additional band of music. The whole windows of the 
city were immediately lighted, the great bells set a ringing, and thousands of 
loyal people enjoyed the military parade with great satisfaction. A consider- 
able number of recruits were enlisted for the regiment that evening. Miss 
Mary Ann Leslie, only child of General Leslie, (Col. of the volunteers), has 
ordered ^200 stg. to be subscribed in her name towards' completing of that 
regiment. Above ^10,000 are subscribed, and the subscription is still going 

Contributions from Individuals. 

Lord Fred. Campbel 

, M.P. 


William Clark 



Hon. Miss Leslie 


Richard Marshall . 


Robert Donald, lord 



Ronald Crawford 


Peter Murdoch 


William Donald 


Robert Findlay, jr. 


Jonathan Anderson . 


James Brown, sen. 


James Jackson 


George Crawford 


Peter Blackburn 


William French 


John Robertson 


Patrick Colquhoun 


John Laurie 


George Miln . 


John Duguid , 


John Clark . 


Andrew and John Stirling 


George Miller, sen. 


James M'Dowall 


John Orr 



Dugald Thomson 


James Findlay & Co 



John Wardrop . 


Andrew Houston 



James M'Gregor 


The oth 

ers under ^50. 


sums subscribed, ;(flo,2l2 


The regiment was fully equipped in the spring of 1778, and 
in April 1779 they were ordered on foreign service. Upon the 
occasion of a mutiny of the Fraser Fencibles, the Glasgow regiment 
volunteered to march to Leith to suppress this mutiny by force, 
although they knew that they would have to contend against a 
well-disciplined Highland regiment, and that the Glasgow regiment 
had received only a year's drill. Their services, fortunately, were 
not required, as the following extract shows : — 

•'Glasgow, April 1779.— The first division of the Glasgow regiment 
marched from Dundee on Monday, and the last division on Tuesday, for 


Burntisland, in order to embark on board the transports lying there ready to 
receive them." 

Ruddimafi's Weekly Mercury, Edinburgh, 2ist April 1779. — "Friday, 
arrived in Leith Road, his Majesty's ship, Hydra, of 20 guns, Captain Lloyd, 
with five transports, for the Glasgow regiment. 

«' A most tragical affair happened yesterday, at Leith, In the forenoon, 
about 50 Highlanders, enlisted as recruits for the 42d and 71st regiments, 
now in America, arrived at Leith in order to be put on board one of the 
transports lying in the road. Being impressed with an opinion that they were 
destined for Minorca, along with the Glasgow regiment, and that they were 
not obliged to serve in any other corps than those for which they were enlisted, 
they refused to go on board. Notwithstanding every attempt was made to 
convince them of their mistake, they persisted. It was then thought necessary 
to apply force in place of expostulations, and, accordingly, five companies of 
the Duke of Buccleuch's Fencibles marched down to Leith, a little before five 
o'clock, headed by their proper officers. The Highlanders were formed in a 
line along the houses opposite to the ferry-boat stairs, and the Fencibles very 
cautiously divided into three parties. One marched by the sands and came 
to the pier to the northward of the windmill ; another entered the street by the 
timber bush, and the third marched along the pier opposite to the Highlanders. 
Seeing themselves thus hemmed in, they presented their pieces with fixed 
bayonets. Captain Mansfield advanced to them, and taking one of them by 
the shoulder, began to expostulate with him, drawing him a little out of the 
line, when the rascal stabbed him ; another fired immediately, and the ball 
lodging in his head, he instantly dropped down dead. Upon seeing Captain 
Mansfield fall, the Fencibles were enraged, and immediately fired on the 
mutineers, on which a dismal carnage ensued. About 23 of the Highlanders 
fell, of which 8 were killed outright, and the wounded were brought up in carts 
and sent to the Infirmary, two of whom died by the way, four have died since, 
and most of the wounded are despaired of. Of the Fencibles, one sergeant 
and two private men of the grenadiers were killed, and several desperately 
wounded. The remainder of the mutineers were directly brought up to the 
Castle, under a guard. The worthy Captain Mansfield is greatly regretted, 
especially as he has left an amiable widow, and five or six children. (He was 
the son of Mansfield the banker.)" 

The Highlanders were intended to be incorporated with the 
Glasgow regiment, which regiment afterwards became the 83d of 
the line. 

At the time when the Magistrates of Glasgow were using their 
utmost endeavours to raise recruits for the Glasgow regiment, the 
following curious case of disputed jurisdiction between them and 
the justices of the peace for Lanarkshire occurred, which ended in 
the discomfiture of the city authorities : — 


Glasgow Mercury^ 2d July 1778. — " Edinburgh, June 30th. — Thursday 
last, came to be determined before the Court of Session a cause at the instance 
of William M'Indoe, barber and hair-dresser in Glasgow, against Major William 
Cowley and Ensign Hugh Wallace, of the 2 2d regiment of foot. As every 
cause regarding the recruiting service is at all times interesting, and as it must 
appear peculiarly so at a period like the present, we shall endeavour to collect 
all the particulars with respect to this, and lay them before our readers, with 
as much brevity as possible. 

"Upon the 21st of February 1777, M'Indoe, being much intoxicated with 
liquor, met with Ensign Wallace at a puppet show in Glasgow, where he asked 
him the loan of a shilling. This Mr. Wallace refused. From the puppet show, 
Mr. Wallace, with some of his companions, went to a mason lodge ; and 
M'Indoe followed them through the streets, still insisting for the loan of a 
shilling. He even followed them into the mason lodge, though not a mason, 
and persisted in his demand. Mr. Wallace, being thus teazed with him, said 
that if he would take the shilling in the King's name, he should have it. This 
at first M'Indoe refused ; but at last told him he would take it in the King and 
Queen's name, and took the shilling. It appears he was at this time so very 
drunk, that those who were appointed to examine him in another room could 
not discover whether he was a mason or not. He soon, however, became so 
very riotous and offensive, that he was by force, and with a good deal of 
indignity, turned out of doors. From this time M'Indoe continued going every 
day about his business as usual, without receiving any trouble or molestation, 
till Wednesday the 1 9th of March, that he was apprehended by a sergeant and 
a party of soldiers, who, alleging that he had some weeks before enlisted with 
Ensign Wallace, immediately carried him before one of the bailies of Glasgow. 
Having been brought there, and asked the usual questions with regard to 
enlisting and attesting, he denied that he ever had done the one, and would 
never do the other. He was, notwithstanding, immediately committed to 
prison. In this situation he remained till the 21st, when he was brought from 
prison to the council chamber, before another of the bailies. Ensign Wallace 
being also present. The same questions were put to him on this occasion as 
the former, and the same answers returned. The taking the shilling at the 
mason lodge was then mentioned ; but he answered that he was drunk at the 
time, that he took it in a joke, and that he did not expect any gentleman would 
put a bite on him. The bailie observed, he would answer very well for a 
soldier, and immediately ordered him back to prison. Here he lay till about 
nine at night, when the ensign, with a sergeant and corporal, came and desired 
the jailer to deliver him over to them ; but the jailer refused, ui'til he should 
have a warrant from a magistrate for that purpose. Upon this Mr. Wallace 
went to the bailie, who sent for the jailer, and ordered him to deliver over 
M'Indoe ; but having desired a written warrant, the bailie answered, that he 
having been verbally imprisoned, he ordered him verbally to be delivered over 
to the ensign. The jailer returned and communicated the bailie's order to 
M'Indoe, who refused to go ; upon which the sergeant and corporal having 
seized him, carried him forcibly out of prison, the ensign having given a receipt 


for him to the jailer. He was accordingly carried from the prison to the 
military guard -house (corner of Candleriggs), where he was kept in close 
confinement till next morning, and carried off by the same kind of violence to 
the town of Hamilton, in order to be passed by Colonel Hugonine, a field- 
officer. Next day he was carried back to Glasgow, set at liberty, and allowed 
to return to his own house. 

" Upon the morning of the 24th M'Indoe applied by petition to the justices 
of the peace of the county of Lanark, praying for redress ; which having been 
presented to James Ritchie, Esq., of Craigton,^ one of their number, he granted 
warrant for bringing before him the sergeant and corporal complained upon, in 
order to be examined ; and appointed the petition to be intimated to Ensign 
Wallace, requiring him to give answers thereto within twenty-four hours of the 
service : and in the meantime prohibited and discharged Ensign Wallace and 
all other officers, civil and military, from confining the person of M'Indoe, or 
any way molesting him on account of the pretended enlistment, until the issue 
of the cause. 

" A great deal of procedure was had before the justice of the peace, after 
which a proof was allowed, and taken for both parties ; and upon advising the 
whole, Mr. Ritchie pronounced a most distinct and pointed interlocutor, finding 
M'Indoe was not an enlisted soldier, and prohibiting and discharging all 
officers, civil and military, from molesting or troubling him on account of the 
pretended enlistment alleged against him. Upon the i 5th of April, however, 
while the parties were assembled before the justice to hear ■ his sentence 
pronounced, the house was surrounded by town officers and soldiers ; and no 
sooner had M'Indoe been discharged, and come out to go to his own house, 
than he was seized by a party of town officers^ in virtue, as they said, of a 
warrant or order granted by Bailie French,"^ upon a petition or application of 
Capt. Cowley, setting forth M'Indoe to be a deserter. He was immediately 
carried to the town clerks' ^ chamber of Glasgow, where he was told he must 
remain till further orders. While in this situation he formally required the 
town officers, in presence of a notary and witnesses, to acquaint him by what 
authority he was a prisoner ; and they having thereupon produced Capt. 
Cowley's petition, with the order or warrant thereon by Bailie French, he 
required them to give him a copy thereof. This the officers refused to do. 
M'Indoe then required them to imprison him in terms of the warrant ; but 
they likewise refused : and notwithstanding every effort to the contrary, he was 
forcibly carried to the Castle of Stirling, where he was committed as a prisoner. 
Thus deprived of liberty, and confined by military force in a fortress, M'Indoe 
applied for redress to the Court of Session, by bill of suspension and liberation. 
The bill, with answers, came to be advised by two of the Lords on the 6th of 

1 In 1775 Mr. Ritchie built the large mansion in Queen Street which was purchased 
for ^5000 by Mr. Kirkman Finlay for his town residence ; and its site is now occupied 
by the National Bank. 

2 William French was Provost of Glasgow in 1778 and 1779. He was ruined by 
the American War of Independence, and his estates sequestrated in 1787. 

3 The town-clerks were Archibald M 'Gilchrist and John Wilson senior. 


May 1777, who passed the same, upon M'Indoe finding caution to the extent 
of ^50 sterling to sist himself in Court at any time during the dependence of 
discussing the suspension ; and of consent of Major-General Skene, for Captain 
Cowley and Ensign Wallace, appointed M'Indoe to be set at liberty. He was 
accordingly set at liberty upon the 9th of that month, caution having been 

" M'Indoe likewise brought an action before the Court of Session con- 
cluding against Ensign Hugh Wallace, Captain William Cowley, Bailie George 
Crawford,^ and Bailie William French, conjunctly and severally, for damages 
and expenses. 

" Both actions came before Lord Gardenston, as Ordinary, in July last, 
who, upon the 5th of August following, conjoined them. His lordship at the 
same time found that there was no sufficient evidence that M'Indoe was either 
fairly enlisted or duly attested, and therefore suspended the letters simpHciter, 
and decerned: but with respect to M'Indoe's claim of damages, made avis- 
andum therewith to the whole Lords, in order to be reported : and appointed 
informations to be given in to the Lords by the respective parties. 

" Two representations were offered on the part of Captain Cowley and 
Ensign Wallace to the Lord Ordinary, both of which were refused without 
answers ; after which a reclaiming petition was preferred to the whole Lords, 
and it was upon this petition and answers for M'Indoe that the Lords came to 
pronounce judgment on Thursday last. 

" Few of their Lordships delivered any opinion upon the matter, but those 
who did, coincided entirely with the sentiments of the Lord Ordinary, and 
expressed a proper detestation of the idea of enlisting of a man who was 
totally deprived of his senses, which it plainly came out in proof was the case 
of this pursuer. They did not enter into the question whether the twenty-four 
hours mentioned in the Mutiny Act, in which a man was to declare his dissent 
and lodge the smart money, commenced from the time within the four days in 
which they are to be carried before a justice of peace or magistrate. There 
was no occasion for such a disquisition in the present case. The law requires 
that the person enlisted shall be carried before the justice or magistrates, un- 
less he absconds. M'Indoe, it was evident from the proof, did not abscond ; 
he every day went about his ordinary business ; and he was so far from hav- 
ing been carried before a justice, that he never received the smallest intima- 
tion to the purpose till the afternoon oi Xho. fourth day, when a most indistinct 
message was left with his apprentice boy, and he never heard more about the 
matter for the space of three weeks thereafter. They were unanimous in 
affirming the interlocutor of the Lord Ordinary, and likewise in allowing 
M'Indoe expenses, an account of which they allowed him to give in. 

*' (The action of damages has not yet come before the court.)" 

I have not been able to learn anything further regarding this 

1 Mr. George Crawford built the large mansion at the head of Queen Street, which 
was purchased by James Ewing of Strathleven for ,^5000. It is now the site of the 
Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway depot. 



action of damages, and therefore suppose that it had been com- 
promised ; but had it taken place in modern times it would have 
afforded a fine opportunity of showing the workings of jury trial. 
In 1777 Glasgow contained a population of 38,000 inhabit- 
ants ; and if we calculate by the returns of the mortality bills of 
the times, it had been gradually decreasing during the previous 
five years. This decrease was probably caused by the dispute 
with our American colonies, which contest at this period had 
nearly annihilated the foreign commerce of the city, and ruined a 
great portion of her enterprising merchants. 

Bill of Mortality for the City of Glasgow and 


FOR THE Year 1777. 

Men . . 202 ^ 

( Males, 


Children 581 j 

J and 
f Females, 

V Decrease this year, 37. 

Interred in the year 1772, . 

. 1579. 

^77Z, . 

• 1319.— 


. 260 

» » 1774, ■ 

1200. — 


. 119 

» 1775. . 

. 1173.— 


. 27 

1776, . 

. ii6i. — 



^777, ' 

1124. — 


. 37 

Last five years decreased, 
Gorbals — Males, 81 ; Females, 83 ; in all, 164 
Anderston — „ 29; „ 45; „ 88 
In Glasgow, 11 24 

Total of Glasgow and Subm-bs, 



In these calamitous circumstances the Magistrates of Glasgow, 
on the 17th of January 1778, forwarded a loyal address to his 
Majesty, in which they state that " the constitutional liberty and 
the rights of mankind being still trampled upon by your rebel- 
lious subjects in America, we beg leave in the most humble manner 
to represent to your Majesty, that we think vigorous and speedy 
efforts ought to be made in order to restore peace to your American 
colonies ; and that for this end we are ready to raise a regiment 
of men, to be employed in such a manner as your Majesty shall 
be pleased to direct," etc. 


The Magistrates of Glasgow at this time seem to have been 
very touchy about the constitutional liberty and rights of man 
having been trampled upon by the Americans, but they appear 
to have lost sight of such high-flown phrases when they them- 
selves wished to secure a good recruit in the person of M'Indoe 
the barber. 

There can be little doubt but the Magistrates and citizens of 
Glasgow were induced to raise the Glasgow regiment for the ex- 
press purpose of its being sent to America to assist in quelling 
the revolt of the colonists, whose mutiny had caused such disas- 
trous consequences to the commercial and manufacturing interests 
of the city. 


Injury to the trade of Glasgow by the American War — Sale of Merkdailly Lands — 
Opening of Charlotte Street — St, James's Square — Barrowfield — Bowling Green 
and the Archers' Butts — Struther's Brewery — First brewing of porter in Glasgow 
— Lawsuit in regard to it — List of Brewers summoned before the Justices in 1777 
— Printfield at Fleshers' Haugh — Favourite bathing-place — First person baptized 
by immersion in Clyde. 

At this time some important changes occurred in the history of 
Glasgow, which, as they took place in my day, may be briefly 
alluded to. Denholm, at page 407, thus writes : — 

" The American War was a dreadful stroke to Glasgow. All commercial 
intercourse was put a stop to betwixt it and that country ; and as the fortunes 
of many of the merchants were embarked in that trade, and America deeply 
indebted to them, it proved the ruin of great numbers who before reckoned 
themselves possessed of independent fortunes." 

At page 423 he adds : — 

" From the American War, which for a time diminished, and it was feared 
would ruin the trade of Glasgow, the most solid advantages have arisen to its 
inhabitants, by their industry being more especially directed than before to the 
prosecution of manufactures." 

Kincaid, who published his History in 1787, alluding to the 
Popery riots of 1779 and 1780, says : — 

"The year 1779 must be for ever remarked in the annals of Scotland, on 
account of disturbances the most extraordinary that could be imagined to 
have taken place in this country at such a period," etc. 

As I have taken notice of these riots in Glasgow, in Glasgoiv, 
Past arid Present, vol. ii. p. 263, I need not here repeat them. 
It was also at this time that the lands of Merkdailly and St. 


Andrew's Square, in the environs of the Low Green of Glasgow, 
came into the market for sale, which was followed by the Magis- 
trates and Town Council of Glasgow feuing the grounds of the 
Ramshorn for a new town. These progressive steps soon made 
the city to put on quite a new face. 

When the Plan which accompanies the present jottings was 
drawn up in 1760 the lands of Merkdailly were garden grounds, 
for the sale of vegetable produce, and let at the rent of 365 
merks Scots (i^20 : 5 : 5 sterling) per annum ; hence arose the 
name of Merkdailly. These lands came into the market for sale 
in the year 1777 : — 

Glasgow Journal., 14th August 1777. — " Merkdailly Yard building ground. 
— To be sold, in lots, for house steadings, the grounds lying on the south 
side of the Gallowgate of Glasgow, known by the name of ' Merkdailly.' As 
this ground fronts the Green, and lyes so near the Cross of Glasgow, it is a 
most convenient as well as pleasant situation for houses. The purchase 
money will be converted into a ground annual rent, if any of the purchasers 
find it inconvenient to pay the price. — For further particulars, apply to Patrick 
Robertson, writer in Glasgow." 

No sale appears to have taken place at this time, as we find 
the said lands again advertised for sale in 1780 : — 

Glasgow Mercury., 17th February 1780. — " Ground for building to be sold. 
— That, upon Wednesday, ist of March, 1780, there is to be sold, by public 
roup, within the house of Mr. Buchanan, vintner, Saracen's Head, Glasgow, 
that piece of ground in Merkdailly, in the Gallowgate of Glasgow, which 
belonged to the deceased Robert Cullen, Esq., of Parkhead, and now to 
William Cullen, Esq., his son. The progress of writs and conditions of sale 
will be seen in the hand of Thomas Buchanan of Boquhan, writer in 

Mr. Archibald Paterson, then a partner with David Dale, 
became the purchaser of the Merkdailly lands, and immediately 
proceeded to open a street through their whole extent, from the 
Gallowgate to the Low Green of Glasgow, which street he named 
' Charlotte Street," in honour of her then Majesty, Queen Charlotte. 

Our learned antiquarian citizen, John Buchanan, Esq., has 
given us the following interesting particulars regarding the former 
state of the said Merkdailly lands : — 

"In a curious old MS. plan, dated 1771, Merkdailly is there stated to 


measure 4 acres, 2 roods, and 7 ells, and represented as covered with trees. 
On its westmost boundary there were three small properties, belonging re- 
spectively to Mr. Moodie, Miss Wallace, and Mr. Hutcheson, all lying at the 
back of what was then St. Andrew's Kirk-yard. [These may be seen in the 
Plan now annexed.] A substantial stone wall enclosed the orchard on the 
east and south, but on the west and north, hedges separated it from several 
small adjoining subjects. One of the properties bounding Merkdailly on the 
north was the back yard of the East Sugar House ;i another, the garden 
behind the tenement of Mr. Peter of Crossbasket, which faced Gallowgate, 
and had a large brass knocker on the street door ; and a third was the green 
at the back of the town house of Mr. Aitcheson of Roughsolloch. What is 
now called Green Street was then an old lone running outside the orchard 
dyke, and is marked on the map as 'the back of the dykes road.' " 

This old road passed the Episcopal Chapel of St. Andrew's, 
facing the Green, the first edifice of that kind erected in Glasgow 
(in Scotland) after the Revolution, and long known by the some- 
what contemptuous epithet of the " Whistlin' Kirk." 

It seems worth while to note some further particulars about 
the property of Merkdailly. In ancient times it formed part of 

^ This building still exists, and exhibits a curious relic of Glasgow architecture in 
olden time. There is a representation of it in Stuart's Views of Glasgow, at page 98, 
and its delineation on the Plan herewith annexed is shown as bounding the Merkdailly 
lands on the north. M'Ure, at page 282, informs us that the Easter Sugar-work was 
built about the year 1669, and the business successfully carried on by Provost Peadie, 
Bailie George Bogle, Bailie John Luke, goldsmith, John Graham, Esq., of Dougalston, 
and Robert Cross, treasurer of the burgh. All the great manufactories of Glasgow at 
this time were carried on by joint -stock companies, consisting of the wealthiest mer- 
chants of the city. Robert M'Nair, a grocer in King Street, in order to be on a par 
with those great aristocratic concerns, assumed his wife as his partner, and transacted his 
business under the firm of Robert M'Nair, Jean Holmes, and Co. (M'Ure, 210.) 

The Easter Sugar-house having come into the market for sale, it was with no little 
astonishment that the public heard of plain Robert M 'Nair, Jean Holmes, and Co. buy- 
ing up the great concern of the Easter Sugar-house, which had required the joint stock 
of five of our wealthiest merchants to carry on. On the occasion of Mr. M'Nair making 
the purchase, some satirical saws and ludicrous songs were composed, and freely cir- 
culated amongst all ranks of the city, such as — 

" Wha would have thocht it. 

That M'Nair could have bocht it?" 
"You're welcome to the Sugar House, 
Robin M'Nair, 
You're welcome to the Sugar House, 

Robin M'Nair. 
How is your sister Bell? 
And how is Jean Holmes hersel', 
Robin M'Nair?" etc. 

Robert M'Nair died at Glasgow in June 1779, aged seventy-six. 


an almost forgotten croft, the name of which is rarely seen in old 
papers. It was called " Eaglesholm Croft," and extended from the 
Saltmarket eastward to Burnt Barns, and from the Gallowgate 
south to the Green, including, of course, the area of what is now 
St Andrew's Square. 

As far back as the reign of Charles II., Merkdailly belonged 
to John Luke of Claythorn, goldsmith, and at the union was the 
property of his son, who in old deeds is described by the soubri- 
quet of " Bristol John." 

After passing through a variety of intermediate owners it 
became vested, about 1780, in the person of Archibald Paterson, 
merchant. Some years previous to his purchase an attempt had 
been made to open up a street from the Gallowgate to the Low 
Green of Glasgow, by agreements among the small proprietors on 
the north side of Merkdailly, as well as the owners of that large 
space of ground, whereby each proprietor should contribute a 
certain breadth of ground for the said purpose. It was then 
intended to have formed a square on the Merkdailly lands, with a 
street leading to it from the Gallowgate ; the former was to have 
been named " St James's Square," after the King's palace in Lon- 
don. The plan of this projected improvement is shown in the 
old map appended to Gibson's History of Glasgow ; but the 
scheme was not successful ; some of the parties, indeed, went the 
length of commencing to build houses at certain points on the 
line, but had to abandon them on account of pecuniary difficulties 
and otherwise. After Mr. Paterson purchased the Merkdailly 
lands he entered into arrangements with proprietors to the north 
for the proper formation of the new street, to be called Charlotte 
Street ; but in order to complete his plan he was obliged to pur- 
chase two properties at the Gallowgate Mouth. 

Had Mr. Paterson laid off his purchase in a manner the most 
suitable for his own pecuniary advantage, he might have made a 
fortune by parcelling out the Merkdailly lands into various streets, 
leading from the north to the south, and from the east to the 
west, and crossing each other with as little loss of building ground 
as possible. On the contrary, however, to such an arrangement, 
every house at the south end of Charlotte Street was laid off with 


an extensive garden attached to it, by which a large portion of 
the said lands became back ground of Httle value for building 
purposes. Besides which, Mr. Paterson had introduced into the 
conveyances of the building stances a variety of very stringent 
rules and conditions, relating to the shape, size, and position of 
the houses, and even to the style of their external ornaments. 
The gardens also were guarded, for preservation, by a variety of 
strictly prohibitive clauses, 

I remember of having gone into the garden of Mr. Paterson's 
own house, situated next to that of Mr. David Dale, and was 
amused to find that Mr. Paterson had formed a number of recesses 
in his garden wall, for the purpose of enticing birds to build their 
nests in them, and in one of these recesses I saw the nest of a 
robin redbreast, with eggs in It ; and the old gentleman was more 
proud of the robin's nest than of all the fine aristocratic houses 
which adorned his lands. 

In consequence of the great loss of building ground caused 
by the annexation of such large gardens to the houses at the south 
portion of Charlotte Street, Mr. Paterson derived little or no profit 
from his purchase of the Merkdallly lands. This, however, gave 
him no concern, as It was not the expectation of realising large 
gains that had induced him to enter into the speculation ; but an 
earnest desire to Improve the eastern district of Glasgow, which so 
greatly required amelioration. Mr. Patferson consulted his then 
partner, Mr. David Dale, regarding the purchase and laying out 
of the Merkdallly lands, and had the approval of that gentleman 
to all the measures which he adopted on the occasion in question.^ 

^ Mr. Archibald Paterson was a modest unassuming man, of primitive manners, and 
of great piety. He held strict orthodox views in religious matters, and, along with Mr. 
David Dale and a few others, was the founder in Glasgow of the congregation called 
"The Old Independents." Mr. Paterson, at his own expense, built, in the Grammar 
School Wynd, a church for this associated body of dissenters, and charged them only 
£io of rent for the said church, which contained 500 seats. This rent barely paid for 
the necessary annual repairs of the building. 

Mr. Paterson occasionally spoke in this church, by way of exhortation, to his brethren 
and hearers ; but Mr. David Dale was the original pastor or minister of the congregation. 

The Rev. Mr. Smith of Newburn, and the Rev. Mr. Ferrier of Largo, in Fifeshire, 

secessionists from the Established Church of Scotland, having come to Glasgow on a 

visit, preached for several Sundays, while in Glasgow, in the above-mentioned church of 

Old Independents, on which occasions some wag posted a placard on the church door — 

«« Preaching here, by David Dale, Smith, and Ferrier ! ! !" 


The lands lying to the north-east of Merkdailly appear 
anciently to have been a croft consisting of about 2-|- acres, and 
came to form part of the Barrowfield estate, possessed formerly by 
the Walkinshaws of that ilk. On the east of this croft there was 
a narrow road called " St. Mungo's Lone" or the " Burnt Barns," 
which led into the Low Green of Glasgow. (See Plan.) 

The Barrowfield estate having been purchased by the first 
John Orr (grandfather of Town-Clerk John Orr), he formed a 
bowling-green as an appendage to his dwelling, situated in the 
immediate neighbourhood. 

M'Ure, at page 323, thus describes Mr. Orr's mansion and his 
bowling-green : — 

" Barrowfield Bowling Green and Butts for Archers. There is a beautiful 
lodging and pertinents thereof, and a curious bowling green at the back there- 
of, for the diversion of gamsters at bowling hereintill, and a stately pair of 
butts for accommodating the archers of our city thereat, and other gentlemen 
adjacent ; all well fenced and inclosed by John Orr of Barrowfield, Esq., lying 
betwixt his village of Calton and the east part of Glasgow." 

The BarroAvfield estates having descended to John Orr, the 
town-clerk, on the death of his father, William Orr, on the 4th of 
May 1775/ and the affairs of the former, having become em- 
barrassed, were placed under the management of trustees, in 
consequence of which the property in the neighbourhood of the 
bowling green came into the market for sale. 

Glasgow Journal, 8th December 1763. — "To be sold, by voluntary roup, 
all and whole that slated tenement in Calton of Glasgow, with yeard, waste 
ground, malt kiln, barn, and other houses at the back thereof, together with a 
brewerie and sundry dwelling houses to the south of said yeard, some of which 
houses front the new street of Calton ; and the said subjects and waste ground 
reach all the way from the old toll house, southward to the said new street, 
and may be profitably converted into a lane, from the toll-bar to the new street 
aforesaid, with buildings on either side of the same. As also, three tenements 
of dwelling houses in the wide closs, in the Calton, lying near to the above 
subjects in the east, with the half of the foulzie of that closs, and the whole of 
other. N.B. — Almost all the said subjects are held by old feu charters, 
subject to no burdens excepting a small feu-duty, and being free from all cess, 

1 The first John Orr died in 1 744, and was succeeded by his son, William Orr, 
whose death is thus no\:\z(i^.—Scots Magazuie, 1755.— "4th ^^^y- ^'^^^ ^^ Barrowfield, 
near Glasgow, William Orr of Barrowfield, Esq. " 


ladles, multers, two pennies on the pint duty, and all other taxations, and 
burdens whatever ; sundry kinds of business may be undertaken on the 
premises with uncommon advantage. 

" Apply to William Wilson, writer to the signet, or to Js. Buchanan, jr., 

Glasgozv Journal 30th October 1766. — "To be sold, by public roup, 
within the house of John Barron, vintner in Glasgow, on the 4th of November 
next, The Inn, with stables and pertinents, possest by said John Barron, lying 
upon the south side of the Gallovvgate Street in Glasgow, with a brewerie and 
malt loft adjoining thereto, and a tenement of houses adjoining to the said 
Inn, upon the east side thereof. Together with a large garden and bowling 
green at the jback of the same, containing about two acres of ground, or 
thereby, very fit for steadings of houses fronting to the west, south, and north. 
The rental, progress, and a plan of the grounds to be seen in the hands of 
Robert Barclay, or James Graham, writers in Glasgow, with whom or with the 
proprietor proposals may be made for bargains by private sale." 

The mansion-house of Barrowfield, situated in this neighbour- 
hood consisted of a large tenement, having a garden attached to 
it of an acre and a half, and three acres of pasture ground. 
Besides, there were above twenty acres of lands, in tillage, around 
the mansion and connected therewith. 

The property advertised for sale as above (30th October 
1766) was purchased in June 1767 by Mr. John Struthers, who 
was visitor of the maltmen in 1764 and 1765. He greatly 
enlarged the brew-house works and pertinents on the south parts 
of his purchase, and occupied the tenement which fronted the 
Gallowgate as his dwelling-house. It was here that Mrs. 
Kirkman Finlay and Mrs. M'llquham or Meiklem, his daughters, 
were born. Alexander Struthers Finlay, Esq., M.P. for Argyll- 
shire, is the grandson of Mr. Struthers, and was named for his 
uncle, Alexander Struthers, visitor of the maltmen in 1803 and 
1804, whose brewery (now in dwelling-houses) was situated near 
to Anderston. 

After the death of Mr. Struthers,^ his eldest son, John 
succeeded to the brewery and its pertinents ; but he, having 
fallen into bad health, left this country, under the medical charge 

^ Glasgow Mcrciny, 4th January 17S1. — "As John Struthers, late brewer in Glas- 
gow, is now deceased, the business continues to be carried on as formerly, in all its 
l^ranches, by his son. All orders addressed to his son, John Struthers, brewer, shall be 
carefully attended to." 


of Dr. James Alexander, to try the effect of a residence in a 
warmer climate, but, unfortunately, died soon after leaving Scot- 

The late Robert Struthers, Esq., succeeded to the brewery and 
its pertinents on the death of his brother John, and immediately 
thereafter made extensive alterations and new erections on the 
premises, with all the modern improvements of the times, so that 
the Gallowgate brewery soon became one of the largest breweries 
in Scotland. 

When Mr. John Struthers purchased the Gallowgate brewery 
in 1767 he had not as yet attempted to brew porter; but 
Murdoch, Warroch, and Company, of the Anderston brewery, 
having just at this time successfully introduced the brewing of 
porter into Glasgow, Mr. Struthers, being less skilled in porter- 
brewing than in ale and beer brewing, engaged one of Murdoch, 
Warroch, and Company's workmen into his service, by whose 
instructions he was enabled to brew porter of a like quality with 
the porter brewed by the Anderston Company. All the porter, 
however, which was brewed in Glasgow at this time was of a very 
inferior quality, being extremely dark in its colour and coarse in 
its flavour. It contained a strong infusion of brown liquorice, or 
" sugar-allie," which rendered it saccharine and muddy ; the 
consequence of these imperfections was that Glasgow ale and 
beer, being of first-rate quality, was preferred by all classes in the 
city to Scotch porter, and the sale of Glasgow porter came to be 
confined almost entirely to the export trade. It was at a con- 
siderably later date than this that Messrs. John and Robert 
Tennent of Wellpark commenced the brewing of porter. 

Murdoch, Warroch, and Company, being conscious of the great 
inferiority of their porter, both as to taste and flavour, when com- 
pared with the porter brewed in London, or even in Dublin, 
engaged a Mr. Chivers, who had been bred to porter-brewing in 
London, to come to Glasgow to instruct them in the London 
method of brewing porter, for which services the company were 
to pay to him one hundred guineas, and also all his travelling 
expenses coming and returning. As Mr. Chivers was kept longer 
than was expected in the employment of Murdoch, Warroch, and 


Company, he ultimately received about ;£^300 in all from the 
said company. In the original contract or agreement which the 
Anderston Brewery Company made with Mr. Chivers it was 
expressly stipulated that Mr. Chivers should not communicate his 
art of brewing to any other brewers in Glasgow or its neighbour- 
hood ; but the Anderston Company forgot to bind him not to 
commence or carry on the brewing of porter in Glasgow for his 
own behoof. In consequence of this oversight in the contract of 
the parties, Mr. Chivers, considering himself at full liberty to brew 
porter in Glasgow on his own private account, engaged part of Mr. 
Struthers' brewery for brewing of porter agreeably to the London 
method, and Mr. Struthers, being a sharp clever man, soon got 
hold of the whole arcana of brewing porter as practised in the 
capital. This state of matters immediately led to a long lawsuit, 
in which the Anderston Company alleged that the whole matter 
in question resolved itself into a concerted scheme between Mr. 
Chivers and Mr. Struthers to get the better of the prohibitive 
clause in the contract made with Mr. Chivers, by the said 
Anderston Company. The Court of Session interdicted Mr. 
Chivers from teaching Mr. Struthers the art of brewing London 
porter ; but in the meantime Mr. Struthers had acquired a 
sufificient knowledge of the whole London process so as success- 
fully to compete with the Anderston Brewery Company in the 
manufacture of Glasgow London porter. The late Robert 
Struthers, Esq., the second son of Mr. John Struthers, continued 
to carry on the brewing business in the Gallowgate for a number 
of years after the death of his father ; but finding the Gallowgate 
premises too small for his increasing trade, he removed his 
establishment, including his dwelling-house, to the Greenhead, 
where he erected a larger and more suitable brewery.^ Both old 
Mr. Struthers and Mr. Robert Struthers let the bowling-green in 
the Gallowgate to tacksmen, and took no other charge of it but 
as landlords of the same. I have played at bowls in this green ; 
the butts for archers, however, had then disappeared, and it had 
become unfashionable as a place of amusement, being eclipsed by 

^ When the Calton was erected into a burgh of barony, Mr. Robert Struthers was 
elected chief magistrate of it. 


its opponent in the west, viz. the bowHng-green in the Candle- 
riggs, now converted into the Bazaar or public market. I have 
also had my game at bowls in the Candleriggs bowling-green. 
The admittance to each of these bowling-greens was one penny 
per visit to non-subscribers. About the beginning of the present 
century Mr. Robert Struthers commenced to lay off the grounds 
for building on which the Calton brewery and bowling-green 
stood, and accordingly opened up the present Kent Street, and 
Suffolk Street, etc. etc., through said lands. 

"15th June 1693. — (Fourth session, first parliament of William and 
Mary.) — This year an act of parliament was obtained in favour of the city of 
Glasgow disponing to the magistrates and council, for their behoof, an im- 
position of two pennies Scots (a Scots penny is one-eleventh of an English 
penny) upon the pint of all ale and beer to be either brewed or inbrought and 
vended, hopped, or sold within the said town, suburbs, and liberties thereof, 
for any space their majesties shall please, not exceeding thirteen years, for the 
purpose of paying the town's debt ; excepting ale and beer brewed by heritors 
in the countiy, and consumed by them and their families in town ; also excepting 
ale and beer brewed and vended in Gorbals." 

This Act was several times renewed, but the tax is now abol- 
ished. From the above quotation it is evident that at this time 
porter had not been brewed in Glasgow, and that the Calton was 
then considered a country or rural district, and not even men- 
tioned in the Act. 

Referring to the N.B. at the conclusion of the advertisement 
quoted, 8th December 1763, we find that property in the Calton 
was then free from all cess, ladles, multures, two pennies on the 
pint duty, and all taxations and burdens whatever chargeable 
upon the inhabitants of the city of Glasgow as borough dues. In 
consequence of this exemption a great number of petty breweries 
came to be erected in the Calton district, where a flourishing 
trade in malt liquor arose ; and breweries, malt-kilns, and malt- 
barns might then have been seen in every quarter of the said 
district. But amongst the revenue laws which were made ap- 
plicable to Scotland, the following one proved a great check to 
the flourishing trade of ale and beer brewing in the Calton : — 

Act 1 2th, Charles II., chap. 23d, enacts — "That all common brewers of 
beer and ale shall once in every week ; and all innkeepers, alehouse keepers, 



victuallers, and other retailers of beer, ale, cyder, perry, metheglin or strong 
water,! brewing, making, or retailing the same, shall once in every week make 
true and particular entries at the office of excise within the limits of which the 
said commodities and manufactures are made." 

And it is further declared by the said Act that those " who 
do not once a week make due and particular entries at the office 
of excise, shall forfeit £^r 

There is no mention made in this Act of porter, which was 
not manufactured in London in the days of Charles II. 

On the 8th of April 1777 Alexander Stuart, collector of 
excise, exhibited an information to two justices of the peace for 
the county of Lanark, setting forth that various persons in 
Glasgow and its neighbourhood had, betwixt the 8th of January 
and 2d of April last, made, brewed, or distilled several great 
quantities of low wines and strong waters, and have not paid 
duties for the same, as by the law and statutes of excise they 
were required and appointed to do : judgment, therefore, was 
prayed against various persons after-named for forfeiture of 
double duty, and expenses, etc. 

List of brewers ^ and distillers in the Calton district who were 
pursued before the justices of the peace on the 8th of April, 

Single Duty. 

Double Duty. 

Archibald Graham, Calton 

■ ^19 5 



II 3 

William Kidd 

■ IS 17 




William Innes 

. 26 I 



3 9 

William M'Nair 

5 II 


1 I 

2 6 

James Bachop 

. 12 16 



13 9 

Alexander Granger . 

. 13 


John Dunn . 

. 23 18 



16 3 

William Lang 

■ 6 5 



Robert Murray 

. 26 I 



3 9 

Robert Buchanan 

. 13 3 



6 3 

Willaim M'llquham . 

. 21 3 



6 3 

William Bayle 

. 25 I 



3 9 

1 " Metheglin — Drink made of honey, boiled with water, and fermented. " — Johnson. 
" Metheglin— Dr'm^i made of water, herbs, honey, spice, etc." — Bailey. 

- On the 1st of January 1784 the brewers advertised as follows : — "Notice. — The 
brewers in and about Glasgow having hitherto found much inconvenience from the prac- 
tice of giving presents to their customers at New-year's day, are therefore resolved to 
discontinue that practice in future. — 25th December 1783." 



Single Duty. 

Double Duty. 

Archibald Jamieson . 




;^54 II 3 

Duncan Murray 




51 18 9 

Mary Stuart . 



23 18 9 

Andrew Miller 




24 II 3 

Thomas M'llquham 




16 18 9 

Matthew Steven 




32 13 9 

Moses Drew . 




39 7 6 

Thomas Smith 




10 16 3 

John Arrol 




9 12 6 

John Harvey . 

. 20 



40 II 3 

James Hamilton 




33 17 6 

Katherine Simpson 




27 2 6 

John M'Innes 




37 6 3 

Margaret Ferguson 




27 2 6 

Christian Aitken 




51 I 3 

Ann Nielson . 

. II 



22 8 9 

Duncan M 'Arthur, White Houses 




34 13 9 

Henry M'Indoe, Fleshers' Haugh 





John Clyde, Craignest 





30 17 6 

To this information defences were given in for the whole per- 
sons complained on, stating some objections to the form of the 
citation, which defences the justices repelled, and allowed the 
collector to prove his information ; thereafter, upon advising the 
proof, they pronounced the following judgment : Having consi- 
dered the information and oaths of parties, " the justices find the 
information relevant, and proved against the whole defenders, and 
decern against each of them for the forfeiture of double duty re- 
spectively charged against them in the information, conditionally, 
for thirty days ; but if the defenders pay to the informant, Mr. 
Alexander Stuart, the single duties, with sixpence sterling per 
pound of charges, within the said thirty days from the date hereof, 
then the justices assoilzie from the double duties, and decern ac- 
cordingly, and ordain execution to pass hereon, in terms of the 
laws of excise." 

This judgment having been brought before the Court of 
Session, by bill of advocation, the bill was refused by Lord Kaimes, 

The advocate for the collector of excise was Henry Dundas, 
then Lord Advocate, and afterwards the celebrated Lord Melville. 


Amongst those who were prosecuted as above by the collector 
of excise for double duties we see the name of John M'Indoe, 
residing in the " Fleshers' Haugh." It was in consequence of the 
" Provost Haugh " having been rented for some time by several 
members of the incorporation of fleshers, for pasturing cattle, that 
the name came to be changed from " Provost Haugh " to " Fleshers' 
Haugh ;" and by the following advertisement it will be seen that 
the inhabitants of the city were in the practice of freely walking 
on it, and of making roads through it at their pleasure : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 30 March 1780. — "Notice — Whereas several per- 
sons take the hberty'to walk and make roads through John King's grass in the 
High Green of Glasgow, to his hurt and prejudice, the said John King begs of 
the inhabitants and others that they will refrain that practice, seeing there is a 
sufficient road and very pleasant walks without injuring his property, for which 
he pays a high rent. And (in order to prevent his grass being treaded and 
abused in time coming) he hereby certifies all trespassers, that they will be 
prosecuted as law directs ; and further offers a handsome reward to any person 
who will inform upon trespassers, so as he or they may be convicted." 

John King, above mentioned, was the deacon of the fleshers 
in the years 1768, 1769, and 1775. 

It appears from the annexed advertisement that Robert 
Dalglish, Esq., the father of our active M.P., Robert Dalglish, 
Esq., had his printfield on the Fleshers' Haugh shortly before the 
city of Glasgow purchased the said haugh. 

Glasgow Mercury, 16th November 1790. — "To be set, for one year, that 
piece of ground and houses lying at the head of the Green of Glasgow, com- 
monly called " Fleshers' Haugh," which has been occupied for some years past 
by Dalglish and Hutcheson as a printfield. Any person wishing to take the 
same may apply as above." 

I remember the above printfield, situated at the east end of 
the Fleshers' Haugh, which I think was subsequently rented by 
Mrs. Currie, of the Black Boy Tavern in the Gallowgate (afterwards 
Mrs. Jardine, of the Buck's Head Inn), for w'ashing and bleaching 
purposes. Mrs. Currie attended her washings herself, amidst 
groups of bathers, with whom she delighted to give and take jokes. 
She paid little attention to the nudity of the bathers, who paid as 
little attention to the modesty of Mrs. Currie. 

The Fleshers' Haugh at this time was the favourite bathing- 


place for the citizens of Glasgow, as at its eastern extremity the 
river was sufficiently deep on its north bank to permit a good 
swimmer to plunge headlong into the stream without danger ; while 
toward the west the river gradually deepened from its shore to its 
centre, thereby giving a learner or a timid person an opportunity 
to select a place of the depth most agreeable to his wishes. There 
were, however, one or two places in this part of the Clyde which 
went by the name o{ pln7nbs or holes, where several accidents have 
occurred. I remember when a boy of diving down into one of these 
plumbs, and bringing up the body of a poor man who had just then 
been drowned. After the unfortunate individual's corpse had been 
brought on shore, the persons who took the charge of it, in place 
of quickly taking it into an adjacent house, or into Messrs. Dalglish 
and Hutcheson's printfield works, and there endeavouring by the 
usual means to resuscitate it, hurried away to the Calton, where 
the poor man had resided, and deposited the body with the 
members of his family. So much time was thereby lost that all 
attempts to revive animality proved unsuccessful. I afterwards 
learned that he was an operative shoemaker. One of the plumbs 
was known by the name of the Dominie's Hole. 

Towards the close of the seventeenth century the Fleshers' 
Haugh appears to have been the property of Sir John Bell, who 
was Lord Provost of Glasgow in 1681 ; and it came to be called 
Provost Haugh in honour of his lordship the Provost. This haugh 
was purchased by the Magistrates and Town Council of Glasgow 
in 1792, from Patrick Bell, Esq., of Cowcaddens, and was then 
added to the Green of the city. 

Glasgow Jourfial, ist May 1792. — "The Provost Haugh has just been 
purchased at private sale for no less than four thousand ;poiinds. It consists 
of about twenty-four acres. 

" This, added to the other pleasure ground along the river, belonging to 
the city, is a valuable acquisition. The philanthropic Mr. Howard, when 
surveying this tract of ground, declared it to be of inestimable value for 
preserving the health of the inhabitants. 

" An acre of ground down the river, where the coal key stood, and bounded 
by the Kinning House burn, was sold by public roup, last week, for £1^0 
sterling. It was let for £^ yearly for sixteen years past." 

In the year 1770 Mr. M'Lean, a Baptist elder or minister, 


came to Glasgow, and baptized Mary Monro, wife of Neil Stewart, 
a wright, in the River Clyde, at the Fleshers' Haugh. She was the 
first person in Glasgow who received baptism by immersion in the 
River Clyde. 

In 1776 a small congregation of Baptists was formed in 
Glasgow, the entrants to which religious society were also usually 
baptized in the river, at the west end of the Fleshers' Haugh, 
where there was a fine shallow sandy shore gradually deepening to 
the centre of the stream. This place was very seldom used by 
bathers, who preferred the east end of the haugh as more suitable 
for natation ; they never disturbed or gave offence to the Baptists 
during the performance of their religious rites in the River Clyde. 

At this time the eastern portion of the Green or Kings' Park 
was bounded by a stone wall, along the west side of which there 
ran a carriage road leading from Bridgeton and Barrowfield to the 
Fleshers' Haugh ; this road, however, was merely a country high- 
way, and was little used. 


Opening up of Duke Street — Glasgow Police in 1788, and measures of the Magistrates 
for regulation of the city — Improvements in the city — St. Andrew's Church — Eagles- 
holm Croft — Dispute about electing a seventh minister for Glasgow — Dr. Porteous 
— The "Long Stairs" — The "hanging stair" in the Tontine — Weavers' riots — 
Town herds. 

In the year 1792, when the Magistrates and Town Council of 
Glasgow purchased the Fleshers' Haugh, they also in the same 
year projected a great improvement to the eastern parts of 
Glasgow, by issuing proposals for opening up and constructing a 
splendid approach to the city from the east, which came to be 
called " Duke Street," in honour of His Royal Highness the Duke 
of York, then Commander-in-chief of the British Army. 

Glasgow Mercury, 6th November 1792. — " By authority of the Sheriff of 
Lanarkshire, the magistrates and town council of Glasgow having, in virtue of 
an Act passed in the last session of Parliament for opening and making certain 
streets in and near the city of Glasgow, preferred a petition to the said sheriff 
against the persons after-named, viz. — William Anderson, tanner and merchant 
in Glasgow ; David Perston, manufacturer, there ; James Brown, merchant, 
there, trustee on the sequestrated estate of the late William Brown, glover, there ; 
Miss Janet Boreland, residing in Charlotte Street, there ; Misses Janet and 

Grizel Pettigrews in High Street, there ; Murray, widow of the late Mr. 

Hercules Lindsay, professor of law in the College of Glasgow ; James Kerr, 
son and heir of the deceased Mr. John Kerr, late minister of the Gospel at 

Belziehill ; the Rev. Mr. Jameson, minister of the Associated congregation 

in Havannah Street, as representing the said congregation, and residing in 
Anderston, and tenant of the said James Kerr's property ; William Dunn, 
wheel- wright in Glasgow ; George Woodburn, wright in High Street, there ; 
Marion Miller, widow of John Freeland, late huntsman, there ; John Taylor, 
son of the deceased William Taylor, residing at Barrowfield Bridge ; John 
Colquhoun, son of the deceased John Colquhoun, residing in St. Enoch's Wynd 


of Glasgow; Alexander Stewart, son and heir of the deceased William Stewart, 
gardener in Glasgow — proprietors or reputed proprietors or occupiers of certain 
lands and tenements the areas of which will be occupied by an intended street 
mentioned in the said Act, to run from the road which leads from Carntyne 
road to the Drygate Bridge, at or near the house belonging to the late John 
Anderson, butcher, till it join the High Street of the said city, at or near 
the tenement on the east side belonging to or reputed to belong to William 
Robertson, farmer and meal dealer, and Robert Kay of Glins, or at or near the 
tenement belonging to Alexander Baird, farmer ; and also by another intended 
street from the west side of the said High Street, at or near the tenement 
belonging to the heirs of James Millar, late visitor of the maltmen in Glasgow, 
or at or near the tenement formerly belonging to John Maitland, now in the 
possession of Michael Bogle and Alexander Gardner, to run in a straight 
line till it join Duke Street in the said city, on account of the said persons 
having refused or neglected to treat, or contract for the purchase of the said 
lands after previous due requisition as prescribed by the said Act ; and, 
therefore, praying his lordship to fix and ascertain the just amount and value 
of the said lands by a jury in terms of the statute. His lordship, the sheriff- 
substitute, upon receiving the said petition upon the 29th day of October last, 
ordered notice thereof to be given by proper advertisements in all the Glas- 
gow newspapers, which is now accordingly given, and to which all parties having 
interest are hereby required to attend. — Glasgow, ist November, 1792." 

At this time (1792) the affairs of police, including the forming 
and causewaying of the public streets of the city, were under the 
sole' management of the Magistrates and Council, and supported 
from the funds of the corporation. 

In 1788 the Magistrates and Council, being anxious to have an 
established police in Glasgow, but at the same time being unwilling 
to relinquish any portion of their control or power of management 
of city affairs, appointed Richard Marshall, one of their own 
clique, to the office of intendant of police, with a large salary, and 
then applied for an Act of Parliament to assess the inhabitants to 
defray the necessary expenses of the establishment ; but as the 
public were to have had no voice in the election of the police 
master, or in the choice of the ward commissioners, a general out- 
cry of the citizens arose against the scheme, and a powerful opposi- 
tion was formed to defeat the measure in Parliament, in consequence 
of which the bill was lost. The general watchword then passed 
from mouth to mouth in Glasgow was that the whole affair in 
reality was merely a sly scheme of the Magistrates to provide a 
snug situation for their friend " Dickie Marshall," as he was called. 


Although Richard Marshall thus lost the situation of police-master, 
he was soon after comforted as to dignity by being elected a bailie 
of Glasgow, and when the barracks were built in 1795 he found 
a pecuniary compensation for his disappointment by obtaining 
the situation of barrack -master, which office the public generally 
believed was gotten through city influence. 

There can be no doubt, however, that from the great increase 
of the city a regular police establishment had then become neces- 
sary to preserve the safety and comfort of the inhabitants. This 
is shown by the following advertisement of the Magistrates and 
Town Council, which clearly exhibits the loose manner in which 
the town regulations and government of the city were then kept ; 
a few redcoat officers acting as the only police guardians of the 
city, which at that time contained a population of upwards of 
60,000 inhabitants : — 

Glasgow Mercury., 22d March 1781. — " By the Magistrates of Glasgow. 
— -Whereas it is of great consequence that every regulation calculated to 
improve the police of the city should be adopted, and that at the same time 
every irregularity injurious to the inhabitants should be suppressed and pre- 
vented. The magistrates hereby give notice, recommend, and enjoin what 
follows, viz. — 

'' That all proprietors of houses in this city shall, as soon as the season 
will admit, remove all water-barges, and fix and erect rones and pipes for 
the purpose of conveying the water from the eaves of their respective build- 
ings, so constructed as to prevent loose slates from falling upon the streets ; 
and it is recommended to those of the inhabitants who have already conveyed 
down their water in this manner that they will cause their pipes to be lengthened 
so as to prevent inconvenience to the pubhc in rainy weather. 

"That all proprietors of houses or lands do give strict orders that the 
flags opposite to their respective properties be regularly cleaned every morn- 
ing, that so this valuable improvement may not be rendered useless to the 

" That all persons using ladders for repairing houses shall remove the 
same every evening before sunset, and no mason or slater, or any person 
working on the roofs of the houses in this city, shall throw over rubbish of 
any kind without keeping a person as a watch to prevent danger to the in- 

^ In 1778 Mr. John Wilsone, who kept an ironmonger's shop under Hutcheson's 
Hospital in the Trongate, laid a flagstone pavement in front of his shop, which was the 
first improvement of the kind in the Trongate. (Mr. Wilsone was a brother of Dr. 
Charles Wilsone.) 

VOL. Ill, O 


" That the person or persons having property in dunghills in the closes 
opposite to which the dung of the street is laid down, shall remove the same 
in twelve hours after it is collected by the scavengers, and no dung going to 
the country will be suffered to remain on the street after sunset on any pre- 
tence whatever. 

" That all boys shall be discharged by their parents and masters from 
playing tops, shinty, or using any diversion whatever upon the flags that may 
be incommodious to the inhabitants ; they are likewise discharged from play- 
ing shinty in the Green. 

" That no person shall shake carpets, or throw water or nastiness over 
any of the windows of this city. 

" That all boys, or others, who shall be detected, at any time, throwing 
stones, making bonfires, crying for illuminations, or attempting to make any 
disturbance on the streets of this city, calculated to endanger the public peace, 
shall be punished with the utmost severity. On all such occasions parents 
and masters are to be accountable for their children or apprentices, and a 
reward is hereby offered of Five Pounds sterling to any person who shall 
detect or discover boys, or others, guilty of these practices, to be paid on 
conviction of the offenders. 

"That all parents and masters shall do their utmost to prevent their 
children and apprentices from going about in an idle manner on Sunday, and 
particularly from appearing in the streets or closes during Divine service, the 
magistrates being determined to punish all such offenders in the most exem- 
plary manner. 

" That as the poor who have a right to the charity of the city are amply 
provided for, it is earnestly recommended to the inhabitants to give their 
assistance in suppressing and discouraging vagrant and public beggars. 

" That no carter shall, on any pretence, presume to ride upon his cart, 
or to drive hard through the avenues or streets of this city. And as many 
accidents have happened through the carelessness of carters, particularly on 
the road leading from the canal, the magistrates hereby order and direct all 
carters to lead their horses short by the head, and it is earnestly recommended 
to the inhabitants to give information of the names of all who shall offend in 
this particular ; that practices so dangerous to the public may be prevented, 
by punishing the guilty in an exemplary manner." 

*' That all carters employed in carrying goods to and from the canal ' 
shall not load above one ton weight of grain, or any other goods upon the 
cart, unless the wheels are six inches broad ; and the magistrates recommend 
it to the inhabitants to pay only according to this regulation, and to inform 
against all offenders. 

" That all horses going to water shall on no pretence be rode hard, nor 
shall any person be permitted to gallop through the streets or avenues of this 

' It is curious to observe that no mention is here made of any traffic being carried 
on from the Broomielaw to the city, now the most extensive carriage-way of Glasgow. 


" That no persons having charge of buildings shall lay down stones upon 
the pavement at the side of the street allotted for the inhabitants, nor shall 
any person be permitted to slack lime upon any of the streets of this city. 

" That in all time coming, the practice of selling salmon by the hand shall 
be discontinued, and no person shall be permitted to sell in any other manner 
than by weight. 

" Notice is hereby given, that there is lodged in the clerk's chamber, a 
quantity of stolen goods not yet claimed. If no person or persons appear to 
claim their property, on or before the first day of April, the whole will be sold 
for the use of the poor of the Town's Hospital." 

In May 1785 the Magistrates advertised that — 

" They had got an offer made to them for keeping the streets of the city 
clean, and to gather, and carry off the whole dung and rubbish lying upon the 
said streets, provided the offerer should have the property of the dung." 

The Magistrates accordingly advertised that they were ready 
to make an agreement of the kind, and — 

" Will prefer the person who shall undertake to perform the work upon 
the most reasonable terms, and find security for performing his part of the 

In the year 1768 the Magistrates and Town Council of Glas- 
gow obtained an Act of Parliament to make certain improvements 
in the city, the preamble to which states as follows : — 

Anno Octavo, Geo. IIL Regis. — "Whereas, by the great increase of 
inhabitants in the city of Glasgow, an additional church became necessary, 
which the magistrates and council of the said city have, at a considerable 
expense, erected and built accordingly, and it is called, or known by the name 
of St. Andrew's Church. And whereas, it is further necessary, for the use 
and benefit of the inhabitants of the said city, and of others resorting to the 
said church, that there should not only be a proper and commodious passage 
to the same, by and from the street called the Saltmarket Street, but also that 
the area or church -yard, of the said church, should be free and open. And, 
whereas, the said magistrates and city council, have also, at a considerable 
expense, erected and built a Town Hall, on the west side of the Tolbooth, 
near the Cross of Glasgow, and it would be of great advantage to the said 
city to have an Exchange or Square, near the said Town Hall, for the use 
and resort of merchants and others. For which purpose the said magistrates 
have purchased several old houses and areas, on the north side of the said 
Town Hall and Tolbooth ; but the premises so purchased are not sufficient 
for building the said exchange or square. And, whereas, those works so 
necessary for the convcniency and advantage of the said city, and of all 


persons resorting thereto, cannot be carried out into execution without the aid 
of Parliament. Therefore, upon the petition of the magistrates and council of 
the said city of Glasgow, on behalf of themselves and the community of the 
said city. Be it enacted, by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons 
in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that 
it shall and maybe lawful for the magistrates and city council of Glasgow, and 
their successors, by themselves, their deputies, agents, workmen, and servants, 
and they are hereby empowered and authorised to make and complete a con- 
venient passage or street, from the said street called the Saltmarket Street, 
to the said new church called St. Andrew's Church, not exceeding seventy feet 
in breadth, as also to open and complete the area or church-yard of the said 
church ; and likewise to make, erect, build and complete a commodious 
Exchange or Square upon the north side of the said Town Hall and Tol- 

"And be it further enacted, that the said magistrates and council and 
their successors, shall also have full power and authority to treat and agree 
with the owners and occupiers of the small slip of land belonging to, or 
reported to belong to Janet Smith, daughter of the deceased Thomas Smith, 
late writer in Edinburgh, containing 3 roods, 24 falls, and 16 yards of ground 
or thereabout, in measure, on the south side of the said St. Andrew's Church, 
and bounded by the town of Glasgow's ground on the north, of the said Janet 
Smith on the south and east, and by the Molendinar burn on the west parts ; 
as also that little yard belonging to or reported to belong to Alexander Spiers, 
Peter Murdoch, Thomas Buchanan, James Dougal, and partners of the hat 

factory in Glasgow, and to John Blair, merchant there, Alexander, widow 

of George Blackwell, late minister of Bathgate, measuring 1 6 falls, and 24 yards, 
or thereabout, bounded by the ground belonging to the town of Glasgow on the 
south and east, and by the Molendinar burn on the north and west parts ; and 
after payment of such sum or sums of money, as shall be agreed on between 
the said magistrates and city council, and the owners or occupiers respec- 
tively, for the purchase of the said respective premises, to lay out and include 
the same or so much thereof as shall be thought necessary, into the said area 
or church-yard, in such manner as they shall think fit." 

By referring to the Plan annexed to the present jottings the 
different properties adjoining St. Andrew's Church, which the 
Magistrates sought to obtain by the above Act of ParHament, 
will be seen. The Plan was drawn up in 1760, and the Act was 
passed in 1768, From the following notices it appears that an 
alteration had taken place in the entry from Saltmarket Street 
to St. Andrew's Church, shortly before the above dates, by the 
demolishment of several old houses, which appear to have stood 
upon the vacant space (shown in the Plan) in the " Weel Close." 


Glasgow Journal, 28th Februaiy 1757. — "To be sold, a parcel of stones, 
timber, and slates, being the materials of some old houses, belonging to the 
heirs of the deceased Bailie James Glen, as they lie in the new street leading 
to the new church in Saltmarket. Any who inclines to purchase them, may 
apply to George Anderson, merchant in Glasgow."^ 

. It appears from the Plan that the ancient entry to the land 
around St. Andrew's Square was called the " Weel Closs." At the 
eastern extremity of this close there was a bridge over the Mo- 
lendinar Burn, apparently wider than the Gallowgate Bridge ; so 
that this place was probably at one time resorted to by the citizens 
for the purpose of drawing water from the Molendinar Burn, or 
for washings — the waste ground in front of St. Andrew's Church 
being very suitable for bleaching and drying clothes, and, judging 
from the Plan, quite open to the public. 

I must leave it to our antiquarian denizens to give us the 
derivation of the word " w^<r/." Jamieson and Bailey say: " Wed, 
wele, wiel — a small whirlpool or eddy;" and it is probable that 
there was a small whirlpool or eddy at the spot where the bridge 
crossed the Molendinar. 

The following advertisement, I presume, refers to the oblong 
(or long square) tenement shown in the Plan, as situated near 
the bottom of the present Charlotte Street ; but I can give no 
account of the extent of Eaglesholm Croft : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 3d May 1781. — "To be sold, that large garden, and 
house and byre built thereupon, lying in the territory of the burgh of Glasgow, 
in that part thereof called Eaglesholm Croft, containing about an acre and 
three roods of ground, as presently possessed by Duncan M'Arthur, gardener. 
The above garden adjoins the St. Andrew's Church and Merkdailly grounds, 
fronts the Green of Glasgow, and is pleasantly situated for building upon. To 
accommodate purchasers, the price will be allowed to remain in their hands 
for some time. — For further particulars, apply to Patrick Robertson, writer in 
Glasgow, who will show a plan of the ground." 

1 Glasgmu Journal, iith October 1756. — "Notice — That the stone, timber, lead, 
glasswork, iron, and whole other materials of the old guard house, and of the old houses 
and lands, or Well Close, on the east side of the Saltmarket, belonging to the town of 
Glasgow, are to be sold, by public roup, within the court hall of the Tolbooth of Glasgow, 
upon the last Wednesday of October, inst., between the hours of 12 and 2 afternoon. 
As also the whole small yearly feu-duties, within and belonging to the town, under forty 
shillings steg., are to be sold, by public roup, within the said time and place. Those who 
incline to purchase may inquire at William Weir, writer, or Artluir Koljertson, chamber- 


I am inclined to think that the garden of the late David Dale, 
Esq., formed part of Eaglcsholm Croft above alluded to, but I can- 
not speak on the subject with any degree of certainty. 

Glasgow Mercury, 24th February 1780. — "To be sold, a house lying at 
the head of the first close east from the Gallowgate Bridge, on the south side 
of the street, consisting of two storeys and a garret, with a cellar, and a large 
fruit garden on the south side of the said house ; with two small brick houses 
adjacent thereto, and a piece of waste ground on both sides of the same, as 
the said subjects were lately possessed by the deceased Alexander Hutcheson 
and his sub-tenants. This lot is pleasantly situated between Merkdailly's yard 
and St. Andrew's church-yard. Also, another house lying near to the said 
house, with a bakehouse and oven thereto belonging, as at present possessed by 
William Fleming, baker, and others. — Apply to Charles Hutcheson, bookseller 
in Glasgow." 1 

The building of St. Andrew's Square was commenced in 1787, 
as is shown in the following notice, and in a short space of time 
thereafter it was completed : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 14th February 1787. — "To be sold, sundry steadings 
for houses in St. Andrew's Square. The plan of the Square and the regula- 
tions for building are to be seen in the hands of the town clerks of Glasgow, 
to whom persons intending to purchase are desired to apply." 

On the 23d of April 1739 the Magistrates and Town Council 
of Glasgow agreed to build St. Andrew's Church upon the yeard 
purchased from Patrick Bell and others, which yeard is represented 
as having been a church yeard ; but I doubt if it ever was used 
as a public cemetery, although it may have been a yeard attached 
to some religious institution. 

I am not aware of there having been discovered any graves or 
relics of the dead whilst the foundations of the church or of those 
of the buildings which now form the square were excavating. 
. There formerly stood a religious institution in the Gallowgate, 

1 At this time the ground around St. Andrew's Church had been shut up from public 
access by the erection of a high iron gate across the whole breadth of the Weel Close, at 
its eastern extremity, next the bridge ; and the' Weel Close then received the name of 
St. Andrew's Street. When divine service came to be performed in St. Andrew's 
Church on Sundays and other pubhc occasions, this gate was allowed to remain open ; 
but it was carefelly kept locked on ordinary week days. When St. Andrew's Square 
was advertised to be formed, the iron gate was removed ; and al)out the year 1800 the 
post-office was brought to St. Andrew's Street. (M'Ure, in 1736, calls the Weel Close 
Baker's Wynd, at page 155.) 


and the said yeard possibly might have been the property of that 
institution ; but I can give no authority on the subject.^ 

The erection of St. Andrew's Church was begun in the year 
1740, but was not finished till 1762. This long delay in execut- 
ing the completion of the church was said to have been caused by 
the want of funds ; and I have heard it said in my younger days 
that it ultimately became necessary for the city of Glasgow to sell 
the feus of the Barony of Provan, and the superiority thereof, in 
order to liquidate the debts incurred for building the said church.^ 
The public have never been informed of the exact cost of building 
St. Andrew's Church, but it has been generally estimated to have 
been upwards of ;^2 0,000 ; and some allege that it has caused an 
expense to the city of ;^30,ooo. 

On the 23d of March 1762 — 

" The magistrates and town council of Glasgow having thought proper to 
build a new church, which is now finished, whereby there are now seven 
churches and only six ministers in the city, and consequently a seventh minis- 
ter is wanted for one or other of the churches ; and further considering that 
the settling of a seventh minister, and endowing him with a suitable stipend 
out of the town's revenue, will be a public benefit, they resolve accordingly." — 
Council Records. 

This resolution of the Magistrates and Council caused a great 
ferment among the city clergymen, who claimed a right to have a 
voice in the election of the seventh minister, according to what 
they said was use and wont ; and for gaining their end they 
agitated among all ranks of the citizens to oppose the alleged 
prerogative of the city authorities. 

1 I have seen no written authority of there ever having been any church in St. 
Andrew's Square before the present church was built. The ground there formed part 
of the Eaglesholm (or Eagleshoam)^ Croft, and was called of old "Luke's Ayle," and 
then "Bell's Park," the Magistrates having purchased the said ground from Patrick 
Bell. Had this "church-yard," as it was called, been formerly occupied as a cemetery, 
some remains of the dead would certainly have been found in the course of erecting the 
houses of the square.? 

2 G las genu Journal, 25th December 1766. — "To be sold, the feu-duties and superi- 
orities of the twenty pound land, of old extent, of Provan, lying in the Barronry parish 
of Glasgow and sheriffdom of Lanark, held feu by the magistrates and town council of 
Glasgow off the Crown. Four of the lots are each of them above ;[{i'400 of valuation, as 
now divided in the cess books. Progress of writs, rental, and condition of roup to be 
seen in the hands of the town clerks. 25th Dec. 1766." 

3 "Holm, or Hoam—xh^ level low ground on the banks of a river."— Jamieson. 


The following pretty sharp notice appeared in the Glasgow 
Journal oi 17th February 1763 : — 

" Glasgow. The general session being met and constitute ; the moderator 
having informed the general session that he had called them together at the 
desire of their committee, who had prepared a report to be laid before them : 
the session approve of their being called for this purpose, and the committee 
gave in their report in writing. The tenor whereof follows : — 

" We understand that our business as a committee to transact with the 
council committee is now at an end, therefore think it our duty without delay 
to report to the general session that there has been a meeting of the town 
council the loth current, at which were produced the opinions of a numerous 
subscription of trades and burgesses and inhabitants of this place, as also the 
opinion of ten of the incorporations, relating to the two plans published by 
order of the council on the one hand and of the general session on the other, 
for the information of the inhabitants, which papers by the ten incorporations 
were not suffered to be read, although no other cause can be assigned why the 
council published their plan, and allowed ten days to intervene, but that the 
sentiments of the inhabitants might be gathered and laid before them ; and we 
are sorry that we can also report, that at said meeting of council the following 
two votes were carried. 

" 1st. That they approve of the aforesaid plan, which entirely excludes the 
general session from any share in the election and calling of ministers to this 
city, and ordered it to be inserted in their books as the rule for calling ministers, 
in room of the model 1721 years. 

" 2d. They ordered the process to be insisted in for obtaining a declarator 
of patronage for the seventh kirk, and that the clerk should write the town's 
agent at Edinburgh first post to that effect, even before any plan for settling 
it is agreed upon. 

" And we have further to report, that a prevailing party in the council 
urged the above precipitate and arbitrary steps in opposition to the chief 
magistrate (Provost Ingram), who protested against them, and was adhered 
to by another of the present magistrates, and five more of the town 

" The general session having heard with great concern the above report, 
cannot help expressing their surprise at such unprecedented and arbitrary 
measures, by which an attempt is made wholly to deprive the session of this 
burgh of the right which they have in the calling of ministers, which is con- 
firmed to them by the law of the land, and which they have hitherto enjoyed 
without molestation ever since presbytery was established in Scotland ; by 
which also the religious liberties of the inhabitants have been trampled upon, 
their ancient model for settling ministers abolished, and an utter contempt 
shown to their judgment in the whole matter of calling their ministers. 

" The session do not choose to enlarge upon the provocation which they 
and the inhabitants in general have received from the imprudence and violence 
of a certain party in the council ; at the same time, they have a most grateful 


sense of the noble stand which has been made for the Hberty and peace of this 
city by the chief magistrate and those who adhered to him. 

" The general session having done what they could to preserve peace, and 
having made many concessions for that purpose in vain, find they are now 
obliged to defend themselves at law. 

" And the general session hereby retract all the concessions which they 
have made formerly for peace sake, by themselves or their committee, and 
declare their adherence to the model 1721. 

" They also appoint that extracts of this resolution be transmitted to the 
Merchants' House, and to the several incorporations of the city, and to be 
inserted in the newspapers. 

" Extracted out of the General Session books by 

" Matthew Bogle, session clerk." 

Shortly after this pithy remonstrance had issued from the 
press — viz. on the 1 6th of March 1763 — the Magistrates and Town 
Council elected Dr. William Craig (father of Lord Craig), then 
officiating as minister in the Wynd Church of Glasgow, to be 
minister of St. Andrew's Church. At this time Dr. Craig had 
been pastor of the congregation of the Wynd Church for twenty- 
five years, having been admitted to that charge in 1738. Most 
of Dr. Craig's congregation followed him to St. Andrew's Church. 

The Wynd Church appears to have stood vacant for some 
time after the translation of Dr. Craig to St. Andrew's Church, 
and again a contest arose between the Glasgow Session and the 
city authorities, when the election of a minister for the charge of 
the Wynd Church came to be made by the Magistrates and Town 
Council, as the following extract shows : — 

Glasgow Journal, 2d February 1764. — "Yesterday (ist February), the 
Presbytery of Glasgow met here, and had under consideration the settlement 
of the Wynd Church, when, after long reasonings, the question was put — 
' Sustain the magistrates and council of Glasgow's presentation or not .'' ' it 
carried not ; on which the magistrates entered an appeal to next Synod." 

It was not till 1766 that the Rev. George Bannatyne, the 
nominee of the Magistrates and Council, was admitted to the 
pastoral charge of the Wynd Church. 

The next minister of the Wynd Church was the celebrated 
Dr. William Porteous. He was ordained at Whitburn loth of 
June 1760, and admitted in Glasgow 28th June 1770 ; for forty 


years he was the great clerical leader of the West. The Wynd 
Church congregation was translated to St. George's Church in 
1807, aJid the church, which was built in 1687, was then 
abandoned. (Dr. Porteous lived in Hoodie's Wynd, in a house 
of ten apartments.) 

The architrave in front of St. Andrew's Church has been 
spoken of as one of the wonders of architecture, and has been 
represented as a long flat arch spanning the whole breadth of the 
church ; but this architrave consists of five separate flat arches, 
with a key-stone in the centre of each. These arches are placed 
between the columns, and, in fact, make a stronger support than 
one formed from a single stone. A fine specimen of this style of 
building may be seen in the lintels of the shop windows of the 
tenement at the corner of the Cross, which are so formed as to be 
quite explanatory of the mystery of the so-called flat arch. Mr. 
David Hamilton was the architect of this tenement, which was 
built by Dr. Cleland on the site of the Gaol. 

There was a curious old building in the Gallowgate, near the 
Cross, which stood as next tenement to the Trades' Land, head 
of the Saltmarket ; it was called the " Long Stairs," on account 
of its having two outside stairs to the floor above the street, one 
of them on the east, and the other on the west, with a wooden 
platform or open gallery between the said stairs. From this 
gallery there were entrances to the upper flats of the tenement. 

It was a favourite frolic for boys to make this place a sort of 
racecourse or play-ground by chasing one another up one stair, 
then along the gallery, and down the other stair. There were no 
police officers in those days to interrupt these amusements, and 
the place itself was the lounging resort of all idle blackguards. 
Behind the said " Long Stairs " there was an extensive close, 
running directly down to the Molendinar Burn. (See the Plan.) 
This close was the Tontine Close of olden time, and was the den 
of thieves and prostitutes ; luckily for the public it was accident- 
ally consumed by fire, although many persons believed that the 
fire was occasioned by an act of wanton mischief 

Glasgow Merctiry, 30th October 1792. — "Yesterday (29th) evening, about 
six o'clock, an alarming fire broke out in that land near the Cross, called the 


' Long Stairs.' It raged with alarming rapidity, and threatened destruction 
to the Trades' Land and a number of houses backwards. The fire for some 
time baffled every effort used for extinguishing it, and spread terror and dismay 
among the people who inhabited the houses adjoining ; but by a steady per- 
severance of the people who had the direction of the water engines it was got 
under by ten o'clock at night, but the rubbish continued burning, and the 
engines, with a proper guard, remained all night. About seven this morning 
it appeared to be gaining head, and the alarm was given, bat no bad conse- 
quences ensued. This alarming fire was occasioned by one of the bravoes, 
who frequent houses of bad fame, throwing a bottle of rum into the chimney 
of a bawdy-house, which set fire to some linens that were drying at the fire. 
The tenement is rendered untenantable, with an adjoining back land. Little 
of the furniture was saved. The premises were insured in the Sun Fire 

In 1768 the Magistrates of Glasgow obtained on Act of 
Parliament (8th Geo. IIL) in which they state — 

" That it would be of great advantage to the city to have an Exchange or 
Square near the Town Hall, for which purpose the magistrates have purchased 
several old houses and areas on the north side of the said hall and Tolbooth, 
but the premises are not sufficient for building the said Exchange or Square." 

They therefore sought Parhamentary powers to make addi- 
tional purchases, and the following property appears to have been 
one of them : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 17th March 1785. — "Sale of houses. — To be sold, by 
public roup, &c., these two back tenements of land, lying behind the Tontine 
Coffee House of Glasgow, and upon the common passage between the Tron- 
gate Street and Bell's Wynd to the east of the Exchange, to which there is 
also an entr>' from the High Street above the Cross, as the said subjects are 
possessed by Mrs. Reid, change keeper, James Cullen, silversmith, and others. 
— Apply to John Wilson, jun., writer, Glasgow." 

To which shortly afterwards was added as follows : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 26th September 1787. — "Notice, — That the stones, 
timber, and slates, and whole other materials of that tenement of land called 
' Legat's Back Tenement,' lying at the back of the clerk's chamber of Glasgow, 
and on the east side of the Tontine, are to be sold by public roup within the 
Laigh Council Chamber of Glasgow, upon Wednesday, the 3d of October 
next, between the hours of i and 2 of that day. — Apply to the town clerks of 

These properties came to form a principal part of the back 
court behind the Tontine Plotel, and likewise on their site were 


built the sugar sample room, and the large back tenement at 
present occupied by the Messrs. Cross and others. The back 
tenement was originally built for the greater accommodation and 
extension of the Tontine Hotel, and was used by the late Mr. 
Smart as a suite of bedrooms in addition to those of the hotel 

In the Glasgow Merairy oi 12th September 1787 we find 
the following passage regarding the Tontine : — 

" About two o'clock on Wednesday morning the upper flight of steps of the 
hanging stairs leading to the Assembly room in the Tontine Buildings fell and 
broke the under flight. The goodness of Providence was very conspicuous on 
that occasion. One of the patroles was just returned from going their round, 
and about taking the stair to go up to the hall where the citizens of the guard 
staid, when the captain of patrole ordered the roll to be called, during which 
the stair fell, and struck them with astonishment, and with gratitude to their 
omnipotent preserver ; for had they been on the stair they could not have 
escaped being crushed to death." 

It was at this time that a riot had taken place in Glasgow 
among the weavers, in consequence of the prices of weaving 
having been lowered, and three men had been shot by the 
military in the course of quelling the said riot, on the Monday 
before the stairs fell. A company of the 56th regiment had 
arrived from Ayr to assist the 39th regiment in preserving the 
peace of the city, and there happening to be a want of bed 
accommodation at the time in Glasgow for the military party so 
suddenly arrived, temporary bedding had been laid underneath 
the hanging stair two nights before the accident happened, and 
some of the soldiers of the 56th regiment had slept there on the 
Monday night unconscious of the danger which had been pending 
over them. The hanging stair which fell was a remarkably fine 
structure, and was greatly admired for its architectural beauty ; 
it was immediately replaced by the present stair which leads up 
to the Tontine Hotel from the court under the piazzas. 

The herd's house shown on the Plan was situated near the 
site of the present Nelson's Monument ; but in my early days it 
was not in the occupation or under the charge of a herd, but was 
used by the golfers as a depot for holding their clubs and balls 
when no play was going on. There was an attendant, however, 


who took charge of the said golfers' clubs and balls, and received 
a perquisite from them for his care and attention in so doing ; a 
great proportion of the players, nevertheless, preferred carrying 
their clubs and balls to their own homes, after having finished 
their sport, thereby saving the payment of a fee to the attendant 
of the place. 

Of old the fees of the herds of the Green appear to have been 
very trifling, as the following notice shows : — 

Burgh Records^ 14th October 1578, — "Item, eodem gevin to Thomas 
Tempilltoun and Petir Aikin, hirdis, for pouertie and almous because yai gat 
na fee, xll" 

The herds of the Green must have been old decrepit men, quite 
unfit for ordinary manual labour, as the fees of the office amounted 
to no more than the pittance of a mere charitable offering. 

Burgh Records, 26th May 1579. — " Matho Wilson is maid and constitut 
calfhird, quha hes fund Patrik Bell cautione for administratioun in his office, 
and is ordanit to have vi^ for ilk calf, and his melt daylie about or ellis yX\^. for 
melte.'.i gif yai failye and to be poyndit y' for." 

It may be here remarked that a Scotch penny is one-eleventh 
of an English penny, so that the herd received only about one 
halfpenny English for each calf, and about one penny for each 
meltel. Supposing the word melte.*. above used to mean a meal, 
we learn by it that in the reign of James VI. (1579) a meal for 
a working man was valued at or about one penny English. 

^ Jamieson says, "Melteth," ist, "The quantity of milk yielded by a cow at one 
time;" 2d, "A meal." 


Humane Society House founded in 1790 — Nelson's Monument — The great stonn of 
1 8 10 — Ams Well — The Slaughter-House and regulations thereanent — Markets in 
1744 —Queen Mary in Glasgow with Darnley — Lamplighting in 1792 — The Glasgow 
Streets in 1560 — Saracen's Head Inn — Causewaying in Glasgow in 1578. 

The Humane Society House is situated in the High Green, a 
little to the east of the Arns Well. It was founded in 1790. 
Mr. Coulter, a merchant in Glasgow, commenced this institution 
by a donation of ;^5oo, and the residue of the funds was raised 
by subscription. The following is a notice of the first meeting of 
its members : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 17th August 1790. — <' The Humane Society of Glasgow 
met yesterday (i6th) in the Tontine Tavern, for the first time, and elected the 
following gentlemen, viz., Gilbert Hamilton, Esq., president, Dr. Robert Cleg- 
horn, secretary, Mr. Robert Simpson, treasurer. Dr. Thomas Reid, Messrs. 
William Craig, David Dale, and Gilbert Shearer, annual directors, and Mr. 
Lawrence Coulter (to whose brother the society owes its origin) extraordinary 
director. The society adopted a number of regulations calculated to ensure 
success to their exertions, and agreed to meet four times a year. Although 
out of fifty subscription papers, only eight were returned, yet the sums sub- 
scribed in these eight amounted to £Zz 12s 6d. That much more will be 
procured we have no doubt." 

Nelson's Monument, situated in the High Green of Glasgow, 
was erected in 1 806, by public subscription, at an expense of up- 
wards of ;^2000. The foundations of this towering obelisk were 
laid on the ist of August 1806, being the anniversary of the 
battle of Aboukir. It is 144 feet in height, including the pedestal, 
and is fenced in by a handsome iron railing, to protect it from the 
mischievous depredations of boys and idlers. 

This elegant structure is, unfortunately, situated too near the 


numerous smoking brick stalks of our widespread factories, which, 
from their near resemblance of form to an obelisk, tend greatly 
to lessen the effect of this graceful cenotaph, erected by our 
citizens to the greatest naval hero of Britain. 

In 1 8 1 o Glasgow was visited with one of the most tremen- 
dous storms of lightning, thunder, and rain that ever was known 
to have taken place there in the memory of the oldest inhabitants. 
I remember this storm very well, and remained at home on the 
Sunday when it occurred, watching with great interest the effects 
of every vivid flash of lightning, and the instant thunder-peal 
which succeeded each electric stream of light ; in particular, just 
before sitting down to dinner, a little after four o'clock, while I 
was standing with my face to the window, observing the scene, 
there occurred the most vivid flash and instant tremendous 
thunder-clap of the storm. It was this thunder-bolt which 
struck Nelson's Monument and rent it nearly from top to bottom, 
as the following account shows : — 

Scots Magazine, August 1 8 10, page S^Z- — "Glasgow 6th August 1810. — 
On Sunday afternoon (5th) we had a most violent storm of thunder and 
lightning, accompanied by excessively heavy rain. About a quarter past four 
the lightning struck the top of Lord Nelson's Monument, and we regret to 
say that it has most materially injured that elegant structure. On the north 
side, the column is torn open for more than twenty feet from the top, and 
several of the stones have been thrown down. On the west side the effects of 
the destructive fluid are visible in more than one place ; and on the south 
side there is a rent in the column, as far down as the head of the pedestal. 
A number of the stones are hanging in such a threatening posture that a 
military' guard has very properly been placed around the monument to keep, 
at a distance the thoughtless or too daring spectators." 

Shortly before this happened the Royal Infirmary had been 
struck by the lightning of the same storm. 

"Glasgow, 5th August, Royal Infirmary. — Sunday, near two o'clock, 
while the physicians were going their rounds, there was a violent thunder 
clap, without any perceptible interval between the flash and the stroke, which 
seemed to shake the Infirmary. All the chimneys were affected, but par- 
ticularly the western. The lowest of the women's wards, where the writer of 
this was, exhibited a very awful appearance. During four or six seconds all 
the flame was suddenly drawn into the wards with a rustling noise, together 
with a dense column of soot and smoke, which instantly filled the ward. 


Fortunately, no person was hurt ; but the patients screamed aloud, and 
such as could rise ran from their beds. Similar appearances, though in 
different degrees, took place through the whole house, which seems to have 
been enveloped in a thunder cloud, and which may probably have owed its 
preservation to the quantity of rain flowing from its roof. This occurrence, 
and the injury of Nelson's Monument, suggests the propriety of guarding 
every building much exposed, by thunder rods, which, when properly con- 
structed, have never failed to prove a safeguard. The lightning also, a little 
past four o'clock, struck a house of three storeys high, in Rottenrow Street. 
In the upper floor a window was shivered to pieces ; in the second floor a 
kettle, which was on the fire, had its spout melted off; in the ground floor 
several children and their mother were sitting at the fire ; the children's hair 
was much singed, and the mother was thrown a considerable distance ; a 
hole, about an inch diameter, was made through the bottom of an oil lamp, 
which was standing on the chimney piece. The electric matter then went 
through a stone wall about nine inches thick, and struck a tin flagon on the 
opposite side of the room." 

This storm extended throughout the whole south parts of 
Scotland and north of England. At Ayr, Dumfries, Kilwinning, 
Carlisle, Newcastle, Whitehaven, and their respective neighbour- 
hoods, it damaged various houses and public edifices, but fortu- 
nately no lives were lost, although several persons were slightly 
injured. At London, in the house of Mr. Fraser, at Chelsea, the 
hailstones had fallen in such quantities into a back cellar, the 
door of which happened to be open, as to become a complete 
piece of solid ice, about eight feet in circumference and two feet 
in depth. In Westminster and Lambeth several houses were 
struck and injured ; an old lady received a considerable shock, 
but was not severely hurt. 

This was the most severe thunderstorm that has happened in 
Glasgow within my remembrance, and was more appalling than the 
great storm of the 9th of August 1787. The Glasgow papers 
of the time thus commenced their reports of this great storm : 
" On the evening of Thursday, the 9th current, we had one of 
the most tremendous storms of thunder and lightning that has 
been known in this place." One of the strongest flashes struck a 
house in Finnieston ; the lightning fell upon the middle chimney- 
top, the stones of which broke through the roof of the house. 
It struck a woman to the floor, where she lay insensible for a 
considerable time. The stream appeared to have passed along 


the surface of her body ; her skin and some of her clothes were 
burned. The lightning- passed through her right leg, and tore 
her shoe to pieces. The joists were split, the furniture scattered 
here and there ; and after killing a rabbit in its passage the fluid 
burst through the outer wall of the house and sank into the earth. 

The Arns Well, situated on the " brae-face " of that part of 
the Green which lies between the Humane Society House and 
Nelson's Monument, has been celebrated for ages as containing 
the finest spring water of any well in the city or suburbs, and 
its superior quality has again and again been tested by the 
analyser, and proved to be one of the purest springs to be found 

In my early days the Arns Well water was looked upon as 
a sort of dainty, and I have often heard a landlord of a feast, 
upon making the celebrated Glasgow cold rum punch, inform 
his guests, by way of commendation of his nectar, that it was 
made from Arns Well water. In like manner old ladies, in 
order to puff up the fine flavour of their tea, used to inform the 
company that the water had just been drawn from the Arns 

I remember this well when it was merely an open running 
stream ; but it afterwards was built into a neat drinking fountain, 
and access to it made commodious to the public, which had be- 
come necessary, as the road to it was through a spongy morass, 
well known to this day by the name of the " Peat Bog." 

As to the Gaol and public offices, which were erected in 18 10, 
at the western extremity of the Low Green of Glasgow, our local 
historians have given us so full an account of them that I have 
little to add to the information which they have handed down to 
us on the subject ; but it may be here stated that these extensive 
buildings have been erected upon the site of the Skinners' Green 
(see Plan), between the Molendinar Burn and the Slaughter- 
House, a local position certainly not very favourable to the idea 
of our public offices resting on the land of Arabia the blessed. 

Previous to the year 1744 there was no public slaughter- 
house in Glasgow, every butcher having a slaughter-house of 
his own ; but in the course of the above year the Magistrates 
VOL. III. p 


and Council of the city built the slaughter-houses on the side 
of the River Clyde, as shown in the two Plans hereto annexed, 
The stalls in these were let from time to time to the Incorporation 
of Fleshers for about ten years afterwards. It so happened, how- 
ever, that at the expiry of the said ten years some demur had 
taken place in the incorporation as to the expediency of continu- 
ing to rent these slaughter-houses ; in consequence of which the 
Magistrates, as guardians of the public, threatened to prohibit 
slaughtering within burgh as a nuisance to the inhabitants. The 
fleshers, not choosing to slaughter without burgh, which they 
might have done, came into the terms of the Magistrates ; and 
upon this footing matters remained till the year 1755. The 
whole of this arrangement was reduced to form, and legal validity 
was given to it by an Act of Council, passed on the 8th December 
1755. Previous to this time the rent of the Slaughter-House 
appears to have been ;^40 per annum. 

Council Records, 29th April 1755. — «' Accompt. — To rent of Slaughter- 
House from Candlemas 1752, to Candlemas 1753, ^40 os od." 

By the arrangement of 1755 it was agreed that — 
*' In case any butcher or butchers shall presume to kill or slaughter their 
cattle in anywhere else than their Slaughter-Houses at the river side, they shall 
be liable to a forfeiture of the carcases of the beast so killed or slaughtered in 
any other place than the said Slaughter-House appointed for that purpose." 

And by another clause of the said arrangement it was 
stipulated that — 

" The butchers and fleshers shall pay the rents and duties therefore to the 
town of Glasgow for the use of said markets and slaughter-houses at the rates 
following, viz. — For each head of black cattle, 6d sterling ; for every dozen of 
calves, sheep, or goats, I2d sterling; for every dozen of lambs or kids, 6d 
sterlino- ; and for hogs or pigs in proportion ; and that all country fleshers 
shall, for the use of the market allotted to them, pay the double of the above 
rates ; and ordered that the said rents be exacted and levied weekly from the 
town and country butchers, viz., from the town fleshers upon Saturday, 'weekly,' 
and from the country fleshers upon the market days upon which they use and 
occupy the markets appointed for them." 

All questions between the Magistrates and fleshers having 
been settled by the agreement of 1755, matters continued to go 
on with the utmost harmony between them until the year 1799, 


when the Magistrates, by an Act of Council, assumed to them- 
selves the power of augmenting the duties fixed in 1755, and this 
against the consent of the Incorporation of Fleshers. The fleshers 
opposed the said augmentation, in consequence of which a 
lengthened lawsuit took place between the parties before the 
Court of Session, which ended in their Lordships of the Court 
unanimously finding " that the Magistrates were positively barred 
by the agreement of 1755, which was to be considered a definite 
settlement for regulating the mutual rights of the parties." 

Ever since there have been constant bickerings between the 
Incorporation of Fleshers and the Magistrates of Glasgow about 
some point or another relative to the Slaughter-House and stalls 
in the public markets, which it is unnecessary and would be 
tedious to discuss. 

In the Glasgow Mercmy of nth November 1799 the follow- 
ing notice from the Magistrates was published : — 

" By the Magistrates of Glasgow. — Whereas the following regulations are 
necessary for the police of the town, the magistrates ordain intimation to be 
made in the public newspapers, and injoin all concerned to give obedience 
thereto as they will be answerable. Regulations — All cattle for slaughter 
brought into this city must be driven agreeable to the following direction — 

" The cattle that come in by the Stable Green Port must be driven down 
the Drygate, go from that by the old Gallowgate Toll-bar and Burnt Barns by 
the back of the Greendyke to the Slaughter-House. Cattle coming from the 
eastward and by Rutherglen Bridge, to go also by the back of the Greendyke 
to the Slaughter-House. 

" Cattle coming by both bridges to be driven the shortest road to the 

" Cattle coming from the westward and by Cowcaddens Toll, to be driven 
down Jamaica Street and along Clyde Street to the Slaughter-House. 

" No cattle of any kind, upon any account whatever, to be driven through 
any part of the Town's royalty on Sunday ; and if any cattle are hunted 
through the streets at any time, the owners as well as the drivers will be 
punished with the utmost rigour of law. 

" No cattle of any kind, upon any account whatever, to be hung in any of 
the entries to the markets. 

" Every master butcher must give in to the magistrates, between and 
Wednesday next, an exact list of the number and names of their servants, and 
of the exact number of dogs belonging to each of them ; and they must 
depone to the verity of this report. 

" The magistrates of this city having fitted up a market for country 


butchers in Bell's Wynd, the following regulations are to be observed : The 
market is to open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and no other day ; and no 
butchers, residing in town, to be allowed to sell meat in it. 

" Every person intending to have the benefit of this market, to apply for 
leave to the bispector of Police, and subscribe the regulations. The market 
dues must be paid regularly to the tacksman. No dogs are to be allowed in 
this market. Any butcher who attempts to bring bad or unwholesome meat, 
or to blow, or put webs on his meat, will have it confiscated, and be turned 
out of the market. 

" No carcases of beef to be allowed in the market ; and, therefore, it must 
be cut into quarters before it is brought there. 

" All unsold meat to be removed at night, and the stalls left clean by the 
butchers who occupied them through the day. 

" This market will be opened on Wednesday next, the i oth current, after 
which no butcher meat will be suffered to be sold in the Candleriggs market. 

" The Candleriggs market, after Tuesday next, is to be kept entirely for a 
potato market, after which day all potatoes are required to be carried there, 
as none will be allowed in the Fish market in King Street. — Glasgow, 4th 
November 1779." 

Previous to the notification of the above regulations — viz. on 
the 22d of April 1799 — the Magistrates had advertised that they 
had appointed the old Fish Market in the Candleriggs for country 
butchers, and ordained them to sell their meat there, and pro- 
hibited and discharged all persons from selling meat in the entry 
to the Wynd Church. 

As the eastern portion of the Police Buildings in Bell Street 
now occupies the site of the ancient Bell Street Flesh Market, of 
old appropriated for the use of country fleshers, the following 
declaration of a witness who was examined in a process relative 
to the said market in 181 1, may perhaps prove interesting to 
many of our old citizens : — 

"Glasgow, 9th January 181 1. — Agnes Reid, widow of John Haines, 
labourer in Glasgow, aged about 80 (say born about 173O. who being 
solemnly sworn and interrogated, depones — That she was born in Bell's 
Wynd, and her father was a butcher in Glasgow, and the deponent has 
resided constantly there. That her father had a stall in the Bell's Wynd 
market when the rebels were in Glasgow. That at this period it was open 
every lawful day ; but on Wednesdays, the butchers who had stalls in it sold 
their meat on stands in the Trongate. That she recollects the building of the 
King Street market (in 1 744) ; and after they were built, her father removed 
his stall to them ; and he also removed to a dwelling-house near to them. 
And being interrogated, depones — That the Bell Street market was built at a 


period beyond her recollection. That after the King Street markets were 
built, the market in Bell Street was locked up, and made a repository for 
lumber, etc. ; and after this was again opened for country butchers. That 
before the King Street markets were built, it was the butchers who sold 
mutton who occupied the Bell Street market ; and at that time the butchers 
who sold beef had their stands in the Candleriggs ; and when the fleshers went 
to the King Street markets, those who sold mutton went chiefly to the market 
on the west side of the street, and those who sold beef to the market on the 
east side ; and before the King Street markets were built, there were, to the 
best of the deponent's knowledge, no country butchers who sold meat publicly 
in Glasgow. That at the period before mentioned, when the Bell Street 
market came to be occupied by country butchers, it was only open to them on 
market days. And this is truth," etc. 

Before Candleriggs was opened in 1724 the public markets 
were probably situated in the High Street ; but country fleshers 
seem to have had full liberty to sell butcher meat in the town 
without payment of any dues for the liberty of so doing. 

Council Records, 6th October 1610. — "Item: It is statute and ordainit yt 
it sail be leisum to owt in towne flescheours ilk day in the ouk to mak mercate 
of flesche wt this hurt, and to sell the samin in leg, bouk, and sydes, and yt 
na impediment be maid to yame, nor na nane of yame be frie men fleschers, 
and yt they bring wt yame hyde, held, skin, and tallow, and yt na frie men 
fleschers by flesche in the land mercat, nor yair wyfes, bairns, or handis to 
sell ovir again under cullor to furnish nobillmen, gentile men, or countrie 
men, and yt under the payne of xty, to be tain of ilk veill, sheip, and lamb 
yey by, and xxxb. of ilk mart and yey happen to by." 

Glasgow at this time contained only 7644 inhabitants. — 

During the time when Queen Mary visited her husband, 
Darnley, in Glasgow, the markets and streets of the city appear 
to have been usually allowed to remain in a state of great filth 
and nastiness, every one using the same at his or her pleasure, as 
receptacles for depositing thereon all manner of nuisances and 
family off-scourings. Her Majesty never appears to have ventured 
during her sojourn in Glasgow to have taken a pleasure-stroll 
along the streets of the city, no doubt remembering the well-known 
cry of her capital — " Carder: vous !" 

Council Records, ist October 1577. — "Item: It is statut and ordanit yat 
yair be na middynis laid vpone ye foirgait, on ye greyne, nor zit on meill nor 
fische mercats, nor yat na flesch"? teyme yair vschawis vpone ye foirgate, undir 


ye pane of audit schillings ilk fait vnforgevin, and yat na stanes nor tymmer 
ly on ye hie gait langar nor zeir and daye, undir ye pane of escheting yairof." 
{ALB. — Aucht schillings Scots is about 7|d. English.) 

Agnes Reid, in her deposition before mentioned, stated that 
the Bell Street Market was for some time locked up, and made a 
repository for lumber, etc. I remember when it was so closed for 
several years as a public market, and then again opened as the 
Bell Street Market During the time that it was closed as a 
market it was occupied as a cellar by a Mr. Drummond, for 
storing his oil-casks, he being then the contractor for lighting the 
city lamps, which at this time appear to have been pretty 
numerous, and required a large stock of oil to be held in reserve. 

Mr. Drummond became contractor in consequence of the 
following advertisement : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 17th July 1792. — "Wanted, by the lord provost and 
magistrates of Glasgow, a person to contract for lighting the lamps on the 
streets, squares, and lanes of that city, for such a number of years as can be 
agreed upon. The number of lamps, including those belonging to private 
persons, which are usually lighted by the public contractor, are supposed to 
be about eight hundred. For particular information, apply to the city clerks." 

Immediately previous to the union of the crowns in lyoy, 
when Glasgow, according to Chapman, contained 12,766 inha- 
bitants, there were no street lamps throughout the city ; but it 
appears that soon afterwards, about the year 1 7 1 8, a few street 
lamps, of a conical shape, were erected in some of the most public 
thoroughfares of the city. They must, however, have been very 
few in number, and not particularly conspicuous for their brilliancy, 
as M'Ure, who wrote in 1736, makes no mention of street lamps 
then illuminating the public places of Glasgow. 

Queen Mary, on her visit to Darnley, arrived in Glasgow on 
the 2 2d of January 1567, and remained a week there, returning 
to Edinburgh with her husband by easy journeys, and arriving in 
the capital on the 31st of the said month, when the unfortunate 
Darnley, just recovering from the small-pox, was, at the Queen's 
desire, lodged in an outhouse of the suburbs called the " Kirk of 
Field," where the well-known gunpowder catastrophe took place 
on the 9th of February 1567. It appears by a MS. letter in 


the State Paper Office, that the evening before Darnley was 
hurried into eternity he repeated to those around him the 
following words from the fifty-fifth Psalm : 

" Oh Lord ! on them destruction bring, 

And do their tongues divide ; 
For in the city violence 

And strife I have espied. 
They, day and night, upon the walls 

Do go about it round: 
There mischief is, and sorrow there 

In midst of it is found. 
Abundant wickedness there is 

Within her inward part, 
And from her streets deceitfulness 

And guile do not depart." 

Many of our historians have alleged that Darnley, while in 
Glasgow, lodged in the Drygate, and even the site of the house 
where he then resided has been pointed out ; but Tytler (vol. v. 
p. 372) says that Darnley, being offended, "abruptly left the 
Court, and took up his residence with his father, Lennox, in Glas- 
gow." Now the house and garden belonging to the Earl of 
Lennox in Glasgow was situated in the High Street, and occupied 
the site of the present College Street. It no doubt was then a 
mansion-house standing quite in the country, for we find that 
Queen Mary, a few years before this time — viz. in 1560 — had 
executed a grant to the University of thirteen Scots acres of land 
immediately adjoining to it, which shows that the neighbourhood 
was then rural, although in the vicinity of the monastery of Black 

As there were no such conveniences in Glasgow at the time in 
question as covered shores for drainage, the whole filth of the 
upper parts of the city of course found its way down the High 
Street by deep gotes and miry gutters, which seem to have been 
little attended to by the public authorities of the city. Even in 
my day there was a deep and nauseous slough in the Candleriggs 
(in front of the present Bazaar), full of maggots, which was never 
cleaned, but was allowed to evaporate and filtrate its contents 
awav without restraint. 


It has already been stated that at this time the streets of 
Glasgow were permitted to remain in a condition of great filth 
and nastiness, every one making the street before his door his 
common midden-stead ; but shortly after the Queen's visit, the 
subject seems to have been attended to by the Magistrates and 
crafts of the city, and an assessment for causewaying the said 
streets was appointed to be levied on the inhabitants. This was 
the first assessment levied for making and repairing the public 
streets of Glasgow. 

It may be here remarked that the levying of an assessment 
on the inhabitants of the city seems to have been of so unusual 
an occurrence, that it was found necessary for the Magistrates to 
obtain the concurrence of the deacons of the crafts as consenting 
parties to the levy. Acts of Parliament for granting such powers 
were not thought of in those days. 

Burgh Records, 19th November 1577. — "The quhilk day it wes con- 
discendit be ye prouest, baillies, and consale, witht ye dekynis of ye craftis, 
yat in respect yair is nocht to be gotten of comowne guddis to big ye calsayis, 
and yat yai halve appayntit witht a calsaye maker, for twa zeirs to cum. 
Thai, yairfoir, halve consentit to rais ane taxatiown of twa hundretht pundis 
money, to be tane of ye haill inhabitantis yairof, worthie yairto, and namit yir 
personis to be stentares yairto, viz., Johne Flemyng, Robert M'George Herbert- 
soun, Robert Adame, Johne Tempill, Matho Wilsoun, and sundry others, to be 
tane at twa termes, viz., ye first of Januare nixt, and ye secund at Beltane 
nixt, and to convene on Furisdaye nixt, befoir none, at viij hor!., in ye counsal- 
hous." (;^2oo Scots is ;!^i6 : 13 : 4 English.) 

It appears that at this time there was no person in Glasgow 
who possessed the skill of causewaying streets ; in consequence 
of which it became necessary to get an accomplished pavier from 
Dundee to perform the work. 

Burgh Records^ 28th October 1578. — " Item : To Walter Brown, calsaye 
maker, for his expenss in cuming fra Dundey, and gang and yairto agane, 
quhen he wes fcit, conform to rolmont, xl.^ — Item: To Johne Houstoun for 
ane owlks laubo."; at ye calsay to ane compt. — xx.^ Item : To Robert Scott 
for leding of thre dosand of pulder ^ to ye calsay, and four dosand of sand 
vpone ye sewint, aucht, and nynt dayis of Nouember, xixf.." 

" 1578, June 3d. — The quhilk daye, it is statut and ordanit, yet ye haill 
myddynis be remowit of ye hie gait, and yet nane scraip on ye hie gait." 

1 *' Pulder — Powder, dust." — ^Jamieson. 


" 1579, 8th October. — Item: To William Hervey, 26th Junie, 1578, to 
pass to Dundey for ye calsay maker, xx.!." 

" Item : To ane boy y.'. bro.'. ane vritting fra Dudey, iii?.. 

{N.B. — iii.^. Scots is only 3d. English, which payment is certainly very 
small for going such a journey. There was no post-office establishment in 
Scotland till the year 1635.)! 

I shall make a short digression here and take notice of a part 
of Glasgow which I believe has seldom or never been visited by- 
thousands of our west-end inhabitants, although in olden time, 
when the Saracen's Head Inn was the fashionable inn of the city, 
the Dowhill was a place of some importance. 

Mercury, 19th October 1780. — "The lands of Dowhill for sale. To be 
sold, by auction, on Friday the 27th of October next, etc., the following 
subjects, lying on the east side of the Dowhill Street, near to the Saracen's 
Head inn, which belonged sometime to the deceased John Robertson, manu- 
facturer in Glasgow, and now to his creditors, either altogether or in the 
following lots, at the upset prices after mentioned, viz. — 

Lot 1st. The little house and two cellars possessed by Andrew 

Stark, merchant, at the yearly rent of . . .£600 

And the stocking loom shop and room adjoining, possessed by 

Archibald Reid, at . . . . . i 10 o 

Under the burden of the roof, at the upset price of ^75. 

Lot 2d. The ground storey of the large tenement possessed by 

Mrs. Woodrow, with the two cellars belonging to that 

house, at the rent of . 
The piece of vacant ground or yard on the east of the large 

house, with the dung of the whole tenement, and the dung 

of Lot 1st . 

At the upset price of ^i 14. 

9 10 

Lot 3d. The first storey above the ground storey of the said 
large tenement, with the two cellars, possest by George 
Johnston, supervisor, at the yearly rent of . . 10 10 o 

At the upset price of ^120. 

1 In the year 1661 the postage of a single letter from Edinburgh to Glasgow was 2d. 
beyond Glasgow, 3d.; to London, 4d. ; to Ireland, 6d. — Arnoi^s History, page 130. 



Lot 4th. The upper square storey and garrets of the said large 
tenement, possest as follows : the square storey and two 
cellars possest by John Muir, merchant, at 

The garrets and two small cellars by Alexander Bandochie, 
tailor ....... 


14 5 o 
This lot under the burden of the roof, at the upset price of ^142 ids. 

Lot 5th. The large weavers' factory, and dwelling-house above, 
on the north of the large tenement, possest at the following 
rents, viz. — 

A garret house and workshop by James Raeburn, at 

A do. and do. by widow Cross 

A house and loom shop by George Mitchell 

A do. and do. by William Drysdale 

A do. and do. by WiUiam Lyon 

A garret room by Robert Nisbet 

A do. by Margaret Shaw . 

A do. by Janet Lockhart 

£21 12 o 

With the whole dung of this lot, and a piece of vacant ground on the east, at 
the upset price of ^172 i6s. Burdened with los. of ground annual. 

N.B. — Lots 2d, 3d, and 4th burdened with a proportion each of 20s. of ground 
annual affecting the large tenement and Lot ist. 

The articles of roup, etc., to be seen in the hands of Joseph Crombie, 
writer in Glasgow." 













Mercury, 23d November 1780. — "To be sold, these two acres, one rood, 
and twenty-six falls of ground lying in the Dowhill of Glasgow, as presently 
possessed by Duncan Campbell, gardener, with the dye-house and houses on 
the north side of the Gallowgate, adjoining to the above grounds, as presently 
possessed by Thomas Thomson, and others. The above grounds are well 
situated for building upon, being a diy soil, and command an extensive pros- 
pect, and contain excellent springs of water. For the encouragement of 
purchasers or builders, the price will be converted into a ground rent, or 
ground annual, if they choose it. — For further particulars, apply to Patrick 
Robertson, writer in Glasgow." 


Costume of the Lord Provost and Magistrates of Glasgow — Convener Newbigging — 
Salary of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh — Scotch Episcopalians — History of and 
interesting particulars regarding St. Andrew's Church — Anti-Burgher intolerance — 
Episcopal liberality — Union of Scotch and English EpiscopaHans — Articles of Union 
and Act of Consecration. 

From a very remote period it had been customary for the city of 
Glasgow to pay a small annual fee to their provosts, bailies, and 
certain other officials, which was continued down to the year 1756. 
The following is taken from the treasurer's account for the 
year 1576 : — 

" Item : To ye prouest for his fie . 
Item : To Williame Conynghame, baillie . 
Item : To Andro Baillie, baillie, for his fie 
Item : To ye clerk for his fie 
Item : To ye maister of work for his fie . 
Item : To ye thesaurer compter for his fie 
Item : To ye herdis for their fies . 

In 1720 the Magistrates and Town Council enacted that the 
provosts of Glasgow should wear a court dress on all public 
occasions, and that the Council should make the Provost a yearly 
allowance of ^40 sterling. On the 9th of October 175 1 the 
Trades' House resolved that the convener should wear a black 
velvet coat on all public occasions, and the House ordained their 
collector to pay out of the House funds the sum of ;^I5 sterling 
to the convener, after his election, to buy such habit ; but " in case 
he do not wear the said velvet coat he shall have no claim to the 
foresaid sum." On the 15th November 1742 the House further 


a I 

13s. 4d.) 



1 6s. 8d.) 












resolved that the convener and his successors in office shall, in all 
time coming, wear a gold chain and medal as the badge of his 
office. In December 1766 the Town Council, the Merchants' 
House, and the Trades' House resolved that the Magistrates, Dean 
of Guild, and Convener should in future wear gold chains, with 
medals emblematic of their respective offices. In 1 8 1 o the Town 
Council resolved that the Bailie of the river should wear a gold 
chain ; and in i 8 i 2 they further resolved that the principal Bailie 
of the Gorbals should also wear a gold chain. The court dresses 
and velvet coats of our city officials above mentioned appear to 
have become obsolete. The last exhibition of the kind that I 
remember was upon the occasion of a public assembly, when 
Provost James Ewing of Strathleven appeared there dressed in 
full court costume, in velvet coat, dress sword, and hair tied in 
black silk bag, with lower habiliments, and sparkling shoe buckles 
of the levee days of George III. The exhibition, however, came 
too late for the times, and proved a failure. 

Mr. Archibald Newbigging, who was deacon convener in 1 799 
and bailie of Glasgow in 18 13, was very proud of city honours, 
and of sporting the gold chain and medal on all public occa- 

Having occasion while in office to make a journey to Eng- 
land, he carried his gold chain and its ornaments there along with 
him, and when arrived at Lancaster he waited on the mayor of 
that town, and arranged with him to attend the church the 
ensuing Sunday along with the magistrates of the Corporation. 
Mr. Newbigging accordingly heard sermon there along with the 
Lancastrian officials, ostentatiously decorated with the Glasgow 
gold chain and its ornaments, to the no small wonderment of the 
natives, who could not think what great man this could be who 
had so honoured the town. 

The wearing of gold chains and velvet coats by our Glasgow 
Magistrates and city officials appears to have originated from a 
spirit of rivalry towards Edinburgh, where those dignified insignia 
of office had for some time previously decorated the persons of its 
provosts and magistrates, and St. Mungo was determined not to 
be thrown on the background by Auld Reekie, but should also 


see its dignitaries dressed in gold and velvet The following 
notice is taken from the Scots Magazine of 1754, page 448 : — 

"Edinburgh, September, 1754. — The wearing of velvet coats by the 
magistrates of Edinburgh being an annual expense to the city, a motion was 
made in council, the i8th of last July, by the lord provost, that they should be 
laid aside and some other distinguishing mark used. This motion having 
been committed, the council on report enacted, July 31st and August 21st, 
that six of the velvet coats should be laid aside, and that gold chains with 
medals should be, ' wore by the lord provost, the four bailies, the dean of 
guild, and treasurer, the medal for the lord provost to be of a larger size than 
the rest ; the expense in whole not to exceed ^200 sterling. The device upon 
the medal is, on the one side, the figure of justice chased, and on the reverse, 
the arms of the city engraven. The lord provost is still to wear a velvet coat. 
By a subsequent Act, Sept. i8th, the council, in place of ^10 sterling in use 
to be paid annually to the convener for a burgess ticket, ever since the £\o 
had been paid to each of the magistrates for their velvet coats, and which he 
usually bestowed in charity, appointed ;/^3o to be paid this year to the con- 
vener, to be applied for charitable purposes by him and his brethren, and 
rescinded the former Acts granting the said ^10 annually. By Act of Septem- 
ber of 1718, ^10 was appointed to be paid annually to each of the four bailies, 
the dean of guild and treasurer who should wear black velvet coats. This 
£\o came in place of a burgess ticket formerly given to each of the gentlemen 
in the offices aforementioned ; or rather in place of ;^ioo Scots which, at the 
time of passing this Act, was in use to be given them in place of the burgess 
ticket. The lord provost got no allowance for his velvet coat, an annual 
salary oi £100 having been granted by act of council this year, 1718, in place 
of several casualties his lordship formerly enjoyed. Ever since Michaelmas, 
17 1 8, black velvet coats have accordingly been worn.' 

'•'■ P.S. — At this Michaelmas six of them were laid aside. The lord 
provost wears one." 

In the year 17 16 the city of Edinburgh first bestowed a 
settled salary on the lord provost of that city, in order to enable 
him to support the dignity of first magistrate. This was at first 
;^300, but afterwards was augmented to ;!^5oo sterling. 

Dr. Cleland, in his Rise and Progress of Glasgow, at page 6^^ 
thus writes : — 

"Glasgow is the only town of extensive population in the empire whose chief 
magistrate does not receive an allowance for the support of the dignityof his office." 

But in a few lines afterwards the Doctor adds that in the 
year 1720 our Magistrates and Council enacted — 

" That the council should make the provost a yearly allowance of ^^40 
sterling, v.-hich allowance has been continued ever since." 


This was written in 1820, and the citizens of Glasgow used 
to say that it was given to his lordship to buy a pipe of wine 
therewith, in order to entertain noble visitors and eminent strangers. 

I now proceed to give a few gleanings regarding the early 
history of the Episcopal Chapel in Glasgow ; but without any 
pretensions or claim of these being considered a history of this 
our first Glasgow Episcopal Church. 

The Scotch Episcopalians, vulgarly called Jacobites, were the 
first religious body not connected with the Church of Scotland 
who regularly met for worship in Glasgow after the Revolution. 

1. Bishop Alexander Duncan, formerly minister of new Kilpatrick, was the 

first officiating clergyman ; he was admitted in 1715. The congrega- 
tion at this period met in a dwelling-house in Bell Street. 

2. Mr. George Graham, from Perthshire ; he succeeded Bishop Duncan 

in 1740. During Mr. Graham's incumbency the congregation 
removed to a larger dwelling-house in Candleriggs Street. 

3. Mr. Thomas Lyon, from St. Andrews; he was admitted in 1750. 

About the year 1754 the congregation had so much increased that 
it was removed to a large hall in Stockwell Street. 

4. Mr. Andrew Wood, from Perthshire ; he was admitted in 1778. Mr. 

Wood was afterwards settled in America. 

5. Mr. Andrew M'Donald ; he was admitted in 1787. Mr. M'Donald 

was domestic chaplain to Mr. Oliphant of Gask, in Perthshire, who 
procured him a living in London in the same year. 

6. Mr. Andrew Jamieson, from Marykirk, Kincardineshire ; he was ad- 

mitted in 1788, and officiated above thirty years. In the year 
1780 the congregation was removed to a large hall in George 
Street, which was commodiously fitted up for worship. 

There was a small Episcopal chapel in Black Friars Wynd, 
Edinburgh, which was founded in the year 1722. There were 
also at this time in Edinburgh some meetings of the Episcopal 
Church of Scotland, who adhered to their old forms, having still 
their bishops and inferior clergy. For some time they were 
subjected to penal laws, in consequence of having refused to take 
the oath to Government, or to pray for the King and the Royal 
Family ; but, subsequently conforming, their conduct came to be 
approved of by the Crown. 

The English Chapel in Edinburgh, which stands near the 



Cowgate Port, was founded on the 3d of April 1771, the 
foundations being then laid by General Oughton. 

By Act of Parliament passed in April 17 19 it was decreed 
that every Episcopal minister performing divine service in any 
meeting-house within Scotland, without having taken the oaths 
required by Queen Anne's Toleration Act, and praying for King 
George by name, was to suffer imprisonment ; and every house 
where nine or more persons, besides the family, should be present 
at divine service was declared to be a meeting-house, within the 
meaning of the Act. 

Glasgow Mercury, 7th May 1788. — "Edinburgh, 5th May. — On Thurs- 
day last, the 24th ult, was held at Aberdeen a meeting of the Protestant 
Bishops in Scotland, who, having previously consulted with their clergy, took 
into their consideration the state of the church, under their inspection, and 
unanimously resolved to give an open and public proof of their allegiance to 
the present Government, by praying in express words for his Majesty King 
George, and the Royal Family. This is to take place in all their chapels on 
Sunday the 25th of May instant, to which day it is deferred, that the bishops 
may have time to give the proper directions to their clergy throughout the 
kingdom. Thus an end is put to those unhappy divisions which have so long 
subsisted among us, and many thousands of our countrymen, suspected of 
disaffection to the present Government, will now be considered as dutiful and 
loyal subjects." 

"May 28th, 1788. — Sunday last, the King, Queen, and Prince of Wales 
were prayed for, by name, and the rest of the Royal Family, in the usual 
manner, in all the nonjuring chapels." 

Dr. Cleland, in his Rise and Progress, p. 16, informs us that — 

"Prior to 1806, the Scotch and English Episcopalians, in Scotland, were 
considered as distinct bodies. In the beginning of that year the English 
Episcopalian clergymen gave in their submission to the Scotch bishops, when 
a union took place, and Glasgow was united in a diocese with Edinburgh and 
Fife. The first diet of the examination of the English Episcopalians, in Glas- 
gow, was on the 15th of May, 1806. On that occasion the Right Rev. Wm. 
Abernethy Drummond, Bishop of the United Dioceses of Edinburgh, Glasgow, 
and Fife, confirmed 90 persons." 

This took place two years before the death of the Rev. Mr. 
Falconer, minister of St. Andrew's Episcopal Chapel in Glasgow, 
and at the time when the Rev. Mr. Routledge was the junior 
minister of the said chapel. Dr. Cleland, in his Annals, published 
in 1 816, at page 153, further says, that the stipend of Mr 


Routledge at that time was ;^300 per annum, and that the 
sittings in the chapel then amounted to 641. 

From an interesting pastoral delivered in 1 861, and from 
a second article published in 1863, by the present respected 
minister, the Rev. Dr. Gordon, regarding the rise and progress 
of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, in Glasgow, I have made the 
following extracts : — 

(1861) "It is now 100 years past since the first stone of this [St. Andrew's 
Episcopal] Church was laid, and the period when it was built ; the various 
persons and personages who in their day worshipped here, and the many 
vicissitudes which it has undergone, invest the old place with an interest 
which, excepting our Cathedral, no other church possesses. Several old 
people can yet recollect the powdered-headed flunkies who marched along the 
passages with their masters and mistresses prayer-books, escorting them to 
their respective pews. And it was quite a sight to look down from the 
galleries upon the many white-wigged aristocrats who filled the body of the 
church. It was a usual turn out to see 25 or 30 carriages drive to the chapel 
gate with worshippers. From 18 10 to 1825 many, now alive, had to wait 
for six and twelve months ere they could obtain seats for their families. It 
would be impossible to give a list of the good and the great who in their day 
attended this interesting but plain church. The following will call to mind 
in many memories old associations, viz. — The Duchess of Hamilton, Lord 
Douglas, Lord Blantyre, Campbell of Blythswood, Oswald of Auchincruive, 
Sir D. K. Sandford, Lord Cathcart, Gen. Pye Douglas, Cross Buchanan, 
Stirlings of Glorat, Sir John Maxwell, Sir Robert Crawford of Pollok, Admiral 
Fleming of Cumbernauld, Sir James Stuart of Allanton, Claud Hamilton of 
Barns ; Spiers of Elderslie, Theodore Walrond of Calder Park, Dunn of 
Tannochside, T. C. Campbell of Mains, Col. Sir C. Hastings, Davidsons of 
Ruchill, Sir Andrew Campbell of Garscube, James Kibble of Park Place, 
Colquhoun of Killermont, Ambrose Dale, John Cabbell, M'Call of Daldowie, 
Edgar of Germiston, Sir William Hooker of Kew Gardens, Sir William Max- 
well of Calderwood, John Bogle of Gilmorehill, Edward Fairlie of the Royal 
Bank, General Smith, Houldsworth of Cranstonhill, Haggarts of Bantaskine, 
Logan of Birdistone, Wilson of Benmore, etc. The pulpit is not the place for 
going over many reminiscences of days of yore, with great minuteness ; 
indeed (said the Rev. Dr.) I could fill a thick volume from our old sederunt 
books with topographical details, not to be found, I believe, upon any other 
records ; and you can easily fancy that many a particular has taken place here 
and hereabout, which is not even on the record of memory. I may, in brief, 
narrate, that St. Andrew's Parish Church, in the Square, and this, our church, 
were being built at the same period. In consulting different histories of Glas- 
gow, I find contrariant statements about the year when St. Andrew's Parish 
Church was founded. What I am about to state is from the Town Council 


Records. The town council met and projected the building, in 1739. The 
first stone was laid in 1740, the year in which , Lunardi ascended in a 
balloon from the Square, and it was 22 years ere the church was erected. 
The Square was a burying ground, and the grass of the church-yard was 
advertised to be let, by the magistrates, in 1785, and in 1786, the year after 
St. Andrew's Square was laid out. The whole was walled in, and the only 
entrance to the church and the church-yard was by an iron gate on the north. 
The old cross of Glasgow is buried in the Square. St. Andrew's Parish 
Church is a meagre copy of St. Martin's in the Fields, London. This chapel 
seems to be a miniature copy of the former. At the time, church architecture 
was at its lowest ebb ; nothing like Gothic, nor any external sacred symbol of 
the faith would have been allowed by the general taste, and hence was not 
thought of. I did what has been done in the way of raising money for 
alterations and repairs, for paying old debts, and for endowing the church, viz., 
nearly ^1000. The Font was the first of correct design ever put up in Glas- 
gow, since the Reformation, and it is well used — all and sundry being baptized 
who come. It is a copy of Bradley Church, Lincolnshire, and it is a memorial 
to Dr. Campbell. I have only to characterise the former arrangements as 
hideous ; what has been done is correct, as far as it goes, but altogether, inside 
and outside, St. Andrew's is a poor concern, unworthy the name of a temple 
suitable for the worship of God. Its walls are too substantial for a good 
riddling fire to make any impression for final demolition, and so we must be 
content to let it remain, endeared for its old associations, and as being most 
useful for its environs. The present enamelled brazen altar cross was pre- 
sented by one of the Smiths of Jordanhill, and came originally as a gift from 
the present Member of Parliament, Walter Buchanan, Esq. The Grecian and 
Elizabethan styles were, in the middle of last century, those in vogue, both for 
churches and private houses. 

"You may perceive a close resemblance between the buildings of Charlotte 
Street and this church. Where we now are was called ' Willow Acre,' past 
which flow the Molendinar or Gallowgate burn on the west of the church, and 
the Camlachie burn on the south. In our records there appear long papers 
about the covering in and keeping up the footpaths and bridges across and 
around these burns, which seem to have been the occasion of incessant 
bargain-making between the managers and town council, each paying only 
their own share. 

" In our early accounts I find frequent charges for ' flambeaus,' probably 
for lighting the roads to the church at evening services, and preventing people 
from falling into the burns. 

" ' Willow Acre ' belonged to three brothers, John, Robert, and Thomas 
Moodie. The two former were gardeners, and likely cultivated this spot as a 
garden ; the latter, Thomas, was a bookbinder. 

" I find no mention of ' Willow Acre ' except in our own charters. The 
name may have been given from willows growing by the two brooks which 
flowed past the plot of ground. We have still ' Brook ' Street, from its prox- 
imity to one of these brooks, which both meet a little way from here, opposite 
VOL. in. Q 


Mr. Lynch's stables gate, and flow into the Clyde opposite the south side of 
the jail, and which are carried in pipes below the bed of the river. I have 
said that probably this ' Willow Acre,' from being the property of the two 
Moodies who were gardeners, was then public gardens ; at all events, the 
ground on which Charlotte Street stands was occupied as a garden, for the 
sale of fruits and vegetables, at the rent of 365 marks per annum. Hence 
the street when first built was called ' Merkdailly.' This piece of ground con- 
sists of 1083 square ells, for which ;^36o sterling per square ell were paid of 
what is called 'dead earnest,' and £1 Scots for every ell additional. There 
is no burden or feu-duty, but some feudal right (a grey duck's Qgg, I believe) 
payable to the superior — the preceptor of St. Ninian's Hospital — when asked, 
which it never has been, and I dare say never will be. 

" In the original charter, registered in the Commissary Court books here, 
this church and church-yard are declared to be ' for the people of the com- 
munion of the Church of England who .have seats and attend divine worship 
in the said chapel.' The first meeting of the original subscribers and contri- 
butors, called by advertisement in the Glasgow Journal^ was held on the 15th 
of March, 1750, in the house of Robert Tennent, vintner and the names of 
the first directors are as follows, viz. : Alexander Oswald, merchant ; Casper 
Claussen, sugar baker ; James Dennistoune, merchant ; Robert Parr, dyer ; 
David Dalyell, merchant ; David Cochran, merchant ; George Sangster, 
tobacconist ; Robert Tennent, vintner ; and Andrew Stalker, bookseller. 
Most of these are buried outside, and this latter, Andrew Stalker's gravestone 
is the oldest in date, at the south corner of the chancel. * Missives ' were ex- 
changed between the directors and the tradesmen — William Paul and Andrew 
Hunter masons ; and Thomas Thomson, wright. 

" Excerpts from the Sederunt Book : — ' Glasgow, i 5th May, 1751. Which 
day it was reported to this meeting that Messrs. Richard Oswald & Company, 
merchants in London (who had been solicited to procure supply for the chapel 
in London) had, by a letter of the 4th current directed to Messrs. Oswald of 
Glasgow, informed that in order to obtain a "Brief" in favour of the chapel, 
it would be necessary to employ a solicitor ; and that in answer to this, Mr. 
Alexander Oswald, in name of the managers, to the said Richard Oswald & 
Co., of London, being laid before this meeting, whereby they are empowered 
to employ a solicitor for the above purpose, on the expense of the managers, 
in case it was found proper. The managers now present unanimously approve 
of the said answer in their name, and agree to pay the expense debursed in 
prosecuting the same.— James Dennistoune ; John Buchanan, jun.' 

"'Glasgow, 26th September, 1751. Which day, in consequence of an 
advertisement in the Glasgoiu Journal for a general meeting, this time and 
place, of all concerned in the English chapel, sundry of them being now met 
accordingly in the house of John Burns, vintner in Glasgow, and David Dalyell, 
merchant in Glasgow, was elected preses of the meeting, in the absence of 
Mr. Alex. Oswald ; and it is agreed, that Dr. John Brisbane, physician in 
Glasgow, and Alex. Spiers, merchant there, should be added to the number 
of the present directors, and to continue in office till next general election. 


And further, that immediate application be made, in name of the managers 
and those concerned, to the Lord Bishop of London for supply to the chapel, 
and for a proper clergj'man to the chapel, of his Lordship's nomination. And 
Mr. Dalyell, Dr. Brisbane, Mr. Stalker, Mr. Spiers, and John Buchanan are ap- 
pointed as a committee to draw up a proper representation to his Lordship, to be 
laid before a meeting of the whole, to be held in this house on Tuesday next, the 
3d October, of which all present are now warned in this present meeting.' 

" At the present time it is altogether ludicrous to record how high the pre- 
judice ran against the erection of this chapel ; but what I am about to state 
evidences with what seriousness and intolerance the project was viewed. 
Andrew Hunter, one of the masons, happened to be a member of what was 
the oldest Burgher congregation here — Dr. King's, or rather now Mr. Calder- 
wood's, in North Albion Street. What we now call *U.P.'s' were then sub- 
divided into Seceders, termed Relief Burgher and Anti-Burgher (so termed in 
reference to the Burgess oath), Old Lights and New Lights. The United 
Presbyterian congregation now in Greyfriars Church was then called the 
' Shuttle Street Secession Congregation,' and the following minute is copied 
from their records of session, 26th April, 1750: 

** ' The session, understanding by the moderator and some members of the 
session, that they had conversed privately with Andrew Hunter, mason, a 
member of this congregation, who had engaged to build the Episcopal meeting- 
house in this place, and have been at great pains in convincing him of the 
great sin and scandal of such a practice ; and the session, understanding that 
notwithstanding thereof, he has actually begun the work, they therefore appoint 
him to be cited to the session at their meeting on Thursday, after sermon.' 

*' Andrew Hunter did go on with the ' great sin ' of building the Episcopal 
meeting-house, and the moderator and session having failed to open his eyes 
as to ' the scandal of such a practice,' he was forthwith excommunicated. 

" I may mention that our registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials are 
regularly kept from the first. We have also those of Musselburgh and Dalkeith. 
The Rev. John Falconer carried his registers from these places to Glasgow ; 
and many of Sir John Cope's soldiers' children's baptisms are engrossed in 
the registers for Musselburgh. The originals are still in the possession of St. 
Andrew's Church ; but two years ago, copies were made of the whole for the 
Duke of Buccleuch's private chapel records at Dalkeith Palace. 

"Upwards of 100,000 children have been baptized in St. Andrew's with 
a corresponding number of marriages ; and even yet, every Monday's average 
is about twenty-five — quite a scene. 

" The Rev, James Riddoch, afterwards appointed to St. Paul's Church, 
Aberdeen, was the first clergyman, and remained one year. The Rev. John 
Falconer succeeded him, in 1751, and served for the long period of 57 years. 
The following clergy were assistants, for a shorter or longer period, viz. : — 
The Rev. Mr. Sanderson, the Rev. William Andrews, the Rev. J. Franks, the 
Rev. Dr. Wynne, the Rev James Foster, the Rev. J. F. Grant, and the Rev. 
Wm. Routledge, who came from St. Bridges, in Cumberland, in 1795, ^s 
assistant to Mr. Falconer, and who was appointed to the full charge in 1808, 


He served here 48 years, and I need not say in what respect his memory is 
held. The first stained-glass window, in the church, was erected to his memory. 
The first stained-glass window that Ballantine of Edinburgh put in a Glasgow 
church — what is in it, you can behold with your own eyes. The other two 
are diaphaned, and contain four apostles, and our blessed Lord's Resurrection, 
and the adoration of the Magi. The following clergy were the Dean's assist- 
ants or curates : the Rev. H. J. Urquhart, the Rev. J. P. Lawson, the Rev. D. 
Aitchison, the Rev. J. E. Keane, and the Rev. Louis Page Mercier. Dean 
Routledge died in 1843, and was succeeded by the Rev. Wm. Nerval, whom 
I succeeded in 1 844. The following are among the distinguished clergy that 
have occasionally officiated here : The Rev. C. Simeon of Cambridge, the 
Right Rev. Bishop Sandford, the Right Hon. and Rev. Lord Douglas, whose 
family seat is still retained by the Earl of Home, the Rev. Legh Richmond, 
who officiated often, and many other well-known clergymen. I find that 
before Dean Routledge's appointment, in 1794, the present Sir A. Alison's 
father, then curate of North Shields, was on treaty to be assistant to Mr. 
Falconer. Many years afterwards he succeeded to St. Paul's, Edinburgh, 
where his body rests outside the altar. 

" From 1795 to 1812 the singers all wore surplices. For that period we 
had here a regularly surpliced choir, as is customary in all cathedrals ; and 
before next Christmas the same shall be once more, twenty boys being now in 
regular weekly training, and the surplices having been already presented by 
Lord Belhaven's niece. Moreover, a great addition will be about that time 
made to the organ. 

" Strenuous exertions are to be made to render the services as popular, 
correct, and simple, as possible, as the funds for that intent have recently been 
supplied. It cannot be that in a city like Glasgow, a well-rendered Church of 
England music service can be lost. If our rich Episcopalians in the west are 
so slow and niggard to build a befitting church, those in the east are deter- 
mined to spur up and not to lose ground too. The reason why the surplices 
were discontinued was because they were all stolen. On the 7th of May, 
1 8 12, the vestry was broken into by James Stewart and William M' Arthur, 
who stole these and the clergyman's robes, and a variety of other things. 
These two persons were sentenced to be capitally executed on the i8th of 
November, the same year, but Mr. Routledge and the congregation having 
petitioned the Prince Regent for mercy, the sentence was commuted to trans- 
portation for life. 

"The present organ was bought from the magistrates in 18 12. It was 
originally built by Donaldson of York, in 1792, but has often been added to 
and improved in tone. It was formerly on the rood screen of Glasgow 
Cathedral, immediately behind the minister's loft, recently erected. The first 
one was sold to the Unitarian congregation, and was built by the renowned 
Snetzler. It formerly stood in a gallery across the mouth of the chancel, 
which was taken down at the alterations made by me ten years ago, above 
which there was a transparency of the transfiguration. The pulpit, reading 
desk, and clerk's desk were originally to the left of the present pulpit, near 


the middle of the south wall, while opposite, in the gallery, was the Duchess 
of Hamilton's pew, with a rich canopy over it. 

"The church and church-yard v/ere consecrated, in 1808, by Bishop 
Abernethy Drummond, who married the heiress of Hawthornden, and took, in 
consequence, the name of Drummond, when forty persons were confirmed. 
Before the Clyde was deepened the church was often flooded. Boats were 
rowed up and down Saltmarket, Bridgegate and Stockwell Streets, and in the 
year 18 16 the water rose inside St. Andrew's Church four or five feet above 
the floor. This happened on a Christmas day, when there was a large 
attendance. Some twenty or thirty carriages with families — near and distant 
— drove here to keep the festival. With the exception of ]\Ir. Jamieson's little 
flock, the nucleus of the present St. Mary's, the faithful remnant that stuck to 
the Episcopal Church, through all her persecutions, ever since the Revolution, 
in 1688, when Episcopacy was disestablished in Scotland; I say with this 
exception, this church was the only one of our communion, not only in our 
neighbouring towns, but in the neighbouring counties ; in fact, there were no 
Episcopal Churches nearer than Edinburgh. The predicament caused by the 
river inundation of the church was made known to Dr. Gibb, then minister of 
St. Andrew's Parish Church, who most readily permitted the congregation to 
assemble therein, and celebrate the Christmas of 18 16. There were 290 
communicants, and ^28 10s lod of offerings. 

" Around these walls lie many illustrious dead, and of recent years several 
memorial crosses and sculptured gravestones, of ecclesiastical design, have 
been placed upon their graves. There is one very affecting gravestone, which 
covers the spot where Captain Sutherland and his wife are both interred, who 
were drowned in the ' Comet ' steamboat, on their marriage trip down the 
river. Dr. M'Nish, the author of the 'Philosophy of Sleep' 'Anatomy of 
Drunkenness,' &c., is buried at the south-east corner. The bodies of the 
following Episcopal clergymen lie in their difterent lairs, viz. — The Rev. John 
Falconer, (beside his three wives), the Rev. A. Jamieson, the Rev. D. M'Coll, 
the Rev. J. Murray of Forres, the Rev. Wm. Alexander Aitken, Curate of 
Ballantoy, Antrim, and the Very Rev. Dean Routledge.i Almost eveiy public 
institution in Glasgow has been benefited from the alms-deeds of those who 
once worshipped here, and whose deeds do follow them, though they rest from 
their labours. I instance a few to show how well off in funds this church at 
one time was. 

1 Mr. Salmon, in his Report on Grave-yards to the Magistrates and Council of Glas- 
gow, dated 3d December, 1863, thus writes: — "St. Andrew's Episcopal Burj'ing 
Ground entirely surrounds the church with which it is connected. The space applicable 
to interments extends to about 694 square yards. The outward appearance of this 
grave-j'ard has all the disagreeable characteristics inseparable from such places, while its 
locality in the immediate vicinity of a dense and sunken population renders these charac- 
teristics all the more objectionable. The effect is repugnant to every just conception of 
taste and propriety. When we observe what a trifling extent the space is now used, it 
is most unfortunate that the above church, long ere now, has not been redeemed from 
its present obnoxious influence." 

iSog. ' 































Collection for the Lunatic Asylum 
for the Lunatic Asylum 
for the Magdalene, do. . 
for the Aged Women's Society . 
for the Magdalene Asylum 
for the Royal Infirmary 
for the Fever Hospital 
for the Deaf and Dumb Asylum 
for do. do. 

" Besides these local charities there were equally large collections for the 
poor and for divers missionary societies. Among miscellaneous charges, &c., 
in 1 79 1, occur the following. — ' For porter and entertainment for the managers 
at different meetings in the Tontine, £1 6s 4d. The general annual dinner, 
appointed to be held in Dowell's Inn, but next year in Hemmings, at i 5s a 
head. Agreed that Janet Hutcheson, beadle, shall be allowed one guinea to 
purchase her annual cloak, to be applied at the sight of John Fergus. 1792, 
28th Dec. — Resolved unanimously that any member who, if in town and in 
health, shall not attend the chapel once a month, at least, shall not be entitled 
to vote in the chapel affairs. 1751, Oct. 31st — Paid two soldiers filling up 
chapel, ^3 3s. Paid by Mr. Tennent for stabbs for round, £^\ 2s 6d. Paid 
for oak nails for the gate, 8s.' 

<' Many legacies have been left from time to time to St. Andrew's, but 
they seem all to have shared the fate of the subsequent, as not one remains, 
even those left for the poor were borrowed to pay some accumulating debts, 
and were never afterwards paid. The most extraordinary thing is how not 
hundreds of pounds but even thousands of pounds were frittered away upon a 
building of the poorest design. 

" The clergymen seem to have been kept as a cheap bargain, for the Rev. 
John Falconer, for 57 years, got his ^50 per annum. Witness — 'At Glasgow, 
the 17th of June, 1822, and within the vestry of the chapel, convened, Messrs. 
Fyfe, Pinkerton, Hussey, Ellis, Wilson, and Jack — Mr. Fyfe in the chair. 
There was laid before the meeting a letter from Mr. Spreull, city chamberlain, 
stating that the magistrates of Glasgow would not pay more than 4| per cent, 
on their bond for ^100 (formerly stated as Sangster's annuity in the sederunt 
book) after Martimas next. The meeting having taken into consideration that 
as the money bequeathed to the chapel by Mrs. Sangster is at the disposal of 
the managers, resolve and authorise the treasurer to receive the .2^^100 from 
the magistrates, and apply the same towards the extinction of the debt due by 
the chapel.' Every one of those who did so were legally liable for being 
accessory to such a transaction. This legacy, like every other one, was meant 
to lie at interest for specified purposes, and no managers had any right to abuse 
their trust by thus seizing on the principal. Our Scottish church, from being 
reduced to the lowest ebb by political persecution, has survived the withering 
influence of such a storm, and during the last fifteen years she has doubled 
her congregations, and no diocese has progressed more of recent years than 
the diocese of Glasgow and Galloway ; but 2d. a head is the most magnificent 


sum which the 40,000 Episcopalians in Scotland annually give towards the 
support of their church and clergy. 

" For more than half a century St. Andrew's was a ' qualified chapel,' but 
not defiant of the Scotch Episcopate, although the legal penalties necessitated 
its position. In 1805 terms of union with the Scotch Episcopal Church were 
agreed upon, and henceforth St. Andrew's became incorporated with the 
diocese of Glasgow and Galloway, and for some time it was the metropolitan 
church of the diocese. The following are the articles of the union. 

"Articles of Union. 

" At Glasgow, the fifth day of December, eighteen hundred and five years. 
Present, Messrs. Charles Wilson, Joshua Senior, John Shearer, Arthur White, 
Thomas Laycock, Hugh Love, George Pinkerton, Septimus Ellis, Richard 
Lawrie, Bright Langley, and Henry Wood. 

*' A paper, signed by the greatest part (it is believed the whole) of the 
members of this chapel, having been presented to the meeting, recommending 
a union with the ancient Episcopal Church of Scotland, agreeable to the 
articles of union proposed by the reverend bishop of that church, to such 
clergymen as officiate in Scotland, by virtue of ordination from English or 
Irish bishops, the managers after mature deliberation on the articles also 
produced, and after seeing the opinions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the 
bishops of London, Lincoln, St. Asaph's, &c., in favour of the measure, 
unanimously approve of the proposal, inasmuch as the entire control and 
management of the funds and temporalities of the chapel are understood to 
remain in the hands of the managers or church wardens, for the congregation, 
as formerly ; as also the nomination of the clergyman in case of vacancy. 
Therefore they authorise and request the Rev. William Routledge, (the Rev. 
John Falconer, the senior minister, not being in such health as to undertake 
the journey), to wait upon the diocesan, the Right Rev. Wm. Abernethy 
Drummond, and to sign the articles of union proposed. And the managers 
further order that the aforesaid articles of union be engrossed in the minute 
book kept for the transactions of this chapel, and signed individually by the 
members approving the same, as an authority and justification of this measure 
in all time coming. 

'« Articles of Union. 

" Proposed by the Right Rev. the bishops of the Scotch Episcopal Church 
to those clergymen who officiate in Scotland by virtue of ordination from an 
English or Irish bishop. 

"Asa union of all those who profess to be of Episcopal persuasion in 
Scotland appears to be a measure extremely desirable, and calculated to pro- 
mote the interest of true religion, the Right Rev. the bishops of the Scotch 
Episcopal Church do invite and exhort all those clerg>'men in Scotland who 
have received ordination from English or Irish bishops, and the people 
attending their ministrations, to become pastors and members of that pure 


and primitive part of the Christian church of which the bishops in Scotland 
are the regular governors. With a view to the attainment of which desirable 
end, the said bishops propose the following articles of union as the conditions 
on which they are ready to receive the above-mentioned clergy into a holy 
and Christian fellowship, and to acknowledge them as pastors, and the people 
who shall be committed to their charge, and duly and regularly adhere to their 
ministration, as members of the Scotch Episcopal Church : — 

I. Every such clergyman shall exhibit to the hishop of the diocese or district in 
which he is settled, or in case of a vacancy, to the primus of the Episcopal 
College, his letters of orders, or a duly attested copy thereof, that to their 
authenticity and validity being ascertained, they may be entered in the 
diocesan book or register kept for that purpose. 

II. Every such clergyman shall declare his hearty and unfeigned assent to the 
whole doctrines of the gospel as revealed and set forth in the Holy Scrip- 
tures, and shall further acknowledge that the Scotch Episcopal Church, of 
which the bishops are the regular governors, is a pure and orthodox part 
of the universal Christian church. 

III. Every such clergyman shall be at liberty to use in his own congregation the 

liturgy of the Church of England, as well in the administration of the 
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper as in all other offices of the church. 

IV. Every such clergyman, when collated to any pastoral charge, shall promise, 

with God's assistance, faithfully and conscientiously to perform the duties 
thereof, promoting and maintaining, according to his power, peace, quiet- 
ness, and Christian charity, and studying in a particular manner to advance, 
by the example and doctrine, the spiritual welfare and comfort of that 
portion of the flock of Christ among which he is called to exercise his 
V, Every such clergyman shall own and acknowledge as his spiritual governor, 
under Christ, the bishop of the diocese or district in which he is settled, 
and shall pay and perform to the said bishop all such canonical obedience 
as is usually paid by the clergy of the Scotch Episcopal Church, or by the 
clergy of the United Church of England and Ireland to their respective 
diocesans, saving and excepting only such obedience as those clergymen 
who do or may hold spiritual preferments in England or Ireland owe to the 
bishops in whose dioceses in those parts of the United Kingdom they do 
or may hold such preferment. 
VI. Every such clergyman, who shall approve and accept the foregoing articles 
as terms of agreement and union with the Scotch Episcopal Church, shall 
testify his approbation and acceptance of the same in the manner following, 

viz. — At , the day of -, I , ordained deacon by 

the lord bishop of , and priest by the lord bishop of , do hereby 

testify and declare my entire approbation and acceptance of the foregoing 
articles or terms of union with the Scotch Episcopal Church, and oblige 
myself to comply with, and fulfil the same, with all sincerity and diligence. 
In testimiony whereof I have written and subscribed tliis my acceptance and 

obligation, to be delivered into the hands of the Right Rev. , bishop of 

, as my diocesan and ecclesiastical superior, before these witnesses, 

the Rev. and the Rev. , both clergymen of the said diocese, 

specially called for that purpose. 


"Act of Consecration. 

"After union with the Scottish Episcopal Church, St. Andrew's was duly- 
consecrated, as will be seen from the following entry in the minute book : — 

" ' Upon the fourth of May, 1 808, in the presence of the congregation 
assembled for divine service, the Episcopal Chapel of Glasgow, and the 
adjoining burying ground dedicated in honour of the holy apostle and martyr, 
Saint Andrew, were solemnly consecrated to the worship of the Almighty God 
by the Right Rev. Father in God, William Abernethy Drummond, bishop of 
Glasgow, before the Rev. William Routledge, the Rev. Robert Adam, the 
Rev. Alex. Jamieson, and the managers of the chapel. — W. Abernethy Drum- 
mond ; Wm. Routledge, minister ; Robert Adam, clerk ; Alex. Jamieson, 

" The Rev. Mr. Norval, the predecessor of the present incumbent, formerly 
belonged to the Scottish Established Church. ' The Church Review and 
Scottish Ecclesiastical Magazine,' as well as several Scotch newspapers for 
^^37-3^, narrate at full length the Presbytery and Synod speeches which 
contained the novel proceedings which caused Mr. Norval to seek refuge in 
Church of England orders. This narrative is gathered therefrom : — 

" The name of JVorva/, famed in song, is likely to become a pro claruui 
jiomen in our annals ecclesiastic. In Mr. Norval the kirk has verily found a 
frugal swain ! — one who would feed his flocks on pilfered pasturage. He 
came to Kirriemuir in 1836 from Glasgow, his native place. No sooner was 
he inducted minister of the New Kirk at Kirriemuir than the provincial 
press blazed away in their own proper style, dwelling on his most harmonious 
settlement as an .edifying illustration of the results of popular election. One 
of the charges in the parish of Brechin soon became vacant. Again Mr. 
Norval is the man of the people, but the sermons are found out not to be Ins 
owtt, but taken, in all their material points, out of certain volumes of sermons 
by the Rev. Henry Melville of Camberwell Chapel, London. 

" A few of the hearers bring the imposition practised upon them before 
the Presbytery, who refer the case to the Synod of Angus and Mearns, who 
refer the case to the General Assembly. 

" ' Let us hope,' says a periodical, containing the minutes of this whole 
case, ' that Mr. Norval's brethren in the ministry will be merciful, in due 
recollection of the sacred maxim : " He that is without sin amongst you, let 
him first cast a stone." ' Thenceforward Mr. Norval betook himself to study 
at Durham. By the bishop of that diocese he got ordained to the incumbency 
of Trimdon, which he bought with his wife's money. He was just one year 
in St. Andrew's, and was what is termed 'very low church.'" 


Lunardi's balloon ascent, 1785 — The "kist o' whisUes " — Choral Union in Glasgow, 
1756 — Concert in 1789 — The Devil's Kirk — Willow Acre — Various ministers of 
St. Andrew's Church. 

I NOW beg leave to make a few passing remarks upon the fore- 
going interesting details regarding the early history of St. Andrew's 
Episcopal Church, as furnished by its respectable pastor, the Rev. 
Dr. Gordon. 

The rev. doctor thus commences : " What I am about to state 
is from the Town Council Records," and then continues : " The 
first stone was laid in the year that Lunardi ascended from a 
balloon in the Square in 1740." Now, if the Town Council 
Records thus state the date of Lunardi's ascension in Glasgow, 
they are wrong, for it was not till Wednesday, the 23d of Novem- 
ber 1785, that he first ascended from St. Andrew's Square. I was 
present on the occasion, and witnessed the ascension from the 
Green, as I have mentioned in another article. The following is 
a notice by Lunardi : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 17th November 1785. — '■^Aerial Exxursion. — On 
Wednesday next, about noon, Mr. Lunardi will ascend with his balloon into 
the atmosphere, from St. Andrew's Church-yard. Mr. Lunardi is happy of 
having in his power to acquaint the ladies and gentlemen that, according to 
their wishes, the magistrates have granted him the choir of the Old Cathe- 
dral, where, on Monday next, the balloon will be suspended in a floating state, 
with the netting over it, and the car attached to it, which will be an exact 
representation of its ascent. Admittance one shilling." 

I must apologise for making a digression here, by giving a 


copy of a curious letter from Gilbert Chisholm, Esq. of Stretches, 
narrating the descent of Lunardi, near Hawick, in 1785. 

" Dear Sir — Yesterday afternoon (23 November), about half an hour 
after three, as I was returning, with Mrs. Chishohn, from a visit to Sir James 
Naysmith, of Posso, Bart., my servant called out to me to observe a paper 
kite of most surprising magnitude and height. Turning my eyes to the place 
where the boy pointed, I perceived a body flying among the clouds, which 
sometimes intercepted it from my sight. As it came near the ground, I 
perceived it assume an oblong oval shape, something like a sugar mould ; but 
as I could perceive no string to hold it, nor any tail appended, I was con- 
vinced that it could be no kite — which, indeed, its extraordinary height had 
convinced me of before. As I knew that Lunardi was in the country, and 
intended a voyage from Glasgow this day, I began to suspect this must be his 
balloon, though I was yet unable to distinguish his car, and could scarce allow 
myself to think that he could be at such a distance from that city. As it still 
came nearer, however, I was at last convinced it could be no other ; and in 
about a quarter of an hour after I first saw him, he wa'S got so near, that I 
began to call out to him, 'Mr. Lunardi, come down! come down!' This 
invitation I gave him the more readily, because if he had still gone on he must 
have alighted in a very inconvenient place, on account of the high wind. After 
repeated calls, I had the good fortune to hear that he answered me through 
his speaking trumpet, though I could not distinctly hear what he said. At 
five minutes before four, he alighted in a place very near the water of Ale, and 
so effectually screened from the wind that the balloon stood quite upright, 
without inclining either to one side or another. 

" Two shepherds who kept their sheep on the hillside were so much 
astonished at the descent of the balloon, with a human creature appended to 
it, that it was with difficulty I could persuade them that Mr. Lunardi was not 
some devil who would destroy them. At last, by my earnest persuasion, they 
ran down the hill, and, with some fears in their countenances, came up to Mr. 
Lunardi. My horse was so frightened that I could scarce come within a gun- 
shot ; but Mrs. Chisholm, who rode a more peaceable beast, was allowed to 
come much nearer. The shepherds at my desire conveyed the balloon, and 
Mr. Lunardi along with it, over the water which separated us, which they 
effected with the greatest ease, the balloon yet rising from the ground with the 
slightest touch. After receiving our hearty congratulations, Mr. Lunardi asked 
Mrs. Chisholm if she would take his place in the aerial car, to which she 
replied by jumping into it. She willingly would have had the balloon set at 
liberty, but as the wind was very high, Mr. Lunardi judged this to be improper; 
for as Mrs. Chisholm is considerably lighter, she must have ascended to a 
great height, and been conveyed to several miles' distance ; the car, therefore, 
was held near the ground by the two shepherds. In this manner she was 
carried for about three miles, while the hills sheltered us from the wind ; but 
then it became so violent, and the balloon waved so much, that she was 
obliged to alight. After this we assisted Mr. Lunardi in emptying his balloon. 


which was not accomplished without great difficulty, on account of the high 
wind. After having the pleasure of Mr. Lunardi's company for the night, I 
had the honour of introducing him this day to the magistrates of Hawick, who, 
after having entertained him at dinner, presented him with the Freedom of the 
Burgh. Mrs. Chisholm is much pleased with her aerial journey, and still 
wishes that she had been set at liberty." 

On Monday the 5th of December 1785 Lunardi made a second 
ascent from Glasgow, On this occasion he went right over the 
city to the north, and alighted in the parish of Campsie, about 
ten miles distant, returning before eight o'clock at night. 

I think that the Council Records are also wrong if they state 
that the land on which St. Andrew's Parish Church stands was 
" a burying- ground',' and that the only entrance to the church and 
churchyard was by an iron gate on the north. There is no 
written evidence, I believe, of the lands of St. Andrew's Square 
ever having been a cemetery, or of any church having existed upon 
the said lands before the present church was built. No human 
remains were found when the buildings of the Square were in the 
course of erection. The iron gate above mentioned was not on 
the north of the Square, but on the west, at the opening from the 
Saltmarket ; but there was also an opening to the said lands from 
the Gallowgate, but it had no iron gate. 

It was in the year 1787 that the lands of St. Andrew's Square 
were first advertised for sale, viz. 1 4th February. " To be sold, 
sundry steadings for houses in St. Andrew's Square. The plan of 
the Square, and the regulations for building, are to be seen in the 
hands of the town clerks of Glasgow." — Mercury. 

Dr. Gordon informs us that the first meeting of the contribu- 
tors for building St. Andrew's Episcopal Chapel was held upon 
the 15th of March 1750, in the house of Robert Tennent, vintner, 
who was one of the directors. Mr. Tennent, besides his business 
as a vintner in the White Hart Inn, near the old toll in the 
Gallowgate, was also an extensive builder ; and, along with 
Robert Muir and David M'Arthur, he rented from the city of 
Glasgow the extensive stone quarry called the " Sheep Quarry," in 
the eastern common. Mr. Robert Tennent built the Saracen's 
Head Inn, and the Magistrates and Town Council, by way of 


encouragement to such a great undertaking, granted him Hberty 
to take stones from the Bishop's Palace to build the said inn. 
Mr. Tennent appears to have availed himself of this liberty, by 
demolishing the handsome gateway of the palace, and carrying off 
Bishop Dunbar's coat of arms, which stood in front of the gate. 
Mr. Tennent at the time being also engaged in building a large 
tenement on the east side of the High Street, near the Cross, he 
placed the stone having Bishop Dunbar's coat of arms deeply 
sculptured thereon in the back wall of the said tenement, where it 
remains to this day, and may be seen from the back court of the 
tenement by those who are interested in viewing antiquarian 

Mr. Robert Tennent belonged to the family of the Tennents 
of Wellpark ; and it is curious to see a Wellpark Tennent care- 
fully preserving Roman Catholic relics, and superintending, as 
director, the building of an Episcopal chapel. 

William Paul, one of the contractors to execute the mason 
work of St. Andrew's Episcopal Chapel, was deacon of the Incor- 
poration of Masons in 1745 and 1749 ; and Thomas Thomson, 
who contracted for the joiner work of the said chapel, was dea- 
con of the Incorporation of Wrights in 1744. As for Andrew 
Hunter, the other contractor to execute the mason work of the 
fabric in question, Mr. Pagan, in his Glasgow, at page 181, has 
given a full corroboration of what Dr. Gordon states regarding the 
great sin which Andrew had committed by soiling his fingers with 
the mortar of such a wicked temple. 

Dr. Gordon informs us that the present organ of the chapel 
was bought from the Magistrates of Glasgow in 1 8 1 2, and that it 
was formerly the rood screen of the Glasgow Cathedral, immedi- 
ately behind the Magistrates' loft, recently erected. In Pagan's 
Cathedral, at page 70, it is stated that the great organ, or " kist 
o' whistles," as it was termed, which is believed to have been 
placed above the rood screen, was removed at the Reformation, 
and a similar instrument was not again seen in Glasgow till 1775, 
when an organ was placed in the then new Episcopal chapel on 
the Green. The Rev. W. M. Wade, A.M., writing in 1822, says 
that the Unitarian meeting-house in Union Street of Glascrow 


contains the organ which was formerly in St. Andrew's Episcopal 
Ghapel, situated near the Green of the city. 

Although for a number of years after its erection in 1750 
there was no organ in the chapel, nevertheless the directors appear 
to have taken pains to procure a professional music master as 
leader of the choir, so as that the want of an organ might be suffi- 
ciently supplied by experienced chanters in lieu of the said organ. 

Glasgow Mercury, 20th December 1756. — "John Buchanan, clerk to 
the English Chapel, Glasgow, opens his school for teaching church music in 
the 2nd storey of M'Nair's land, opposite the Main Guard, on Tuesday the 
28th inst., at six o'clock in the evening, and will continue to teach every day 
in the week, except Saturday, at that or any other hour most convenient for 
his scholars." 

{N.B. — Clerk is the layman who reads the respones to the 
congregation in the church, to direct the rest. — JOHNSON.) 

We are left in the dark by the foregoing advertisement 
whether or not John taught his scholars upon the Sundays. 

The example of cultivating and improving a taste for church 
music thus first set agoing in Glasgow by the directors of St. 
Andrew's Episcopal Chapel was immediately followed by our civic 

Mercury, 22nd November 1756. — "By order of the magistrates. To 
encourage and promote the improvement of church music, the magistrates 
have directed Mr. Moor to open a free school in Hutcheson's Hospital, on 
Tuesday the 2 2d instant, at seven o'clock in the evening, where the inhabitants 
of the city will be admitted and taught at the public charge, on their produc- 
ing proper certificates of their character from the minister and elders of the 
parish where they reside." 

Mercury, loth November 1785. — "The managers of the licensed Epis- 
copal Chapel in the city of Glasgow having some time since' erected the same 
into a collegiate charge, by appointing two clergymen jointly to perform the 
different parts of the public worship at every meeting, upon the plan of divine 
service established in the new chapel in Edinburgh ; and the managers having 
also erected a new gallery for the better accommodation of the inhabitants of 
this city and neighbourhood as may not be supplied with seats — all who may 
be interested in this public notice are desired to apply, by letter, to Mr. John 
Fergus, in Glasgow, mentioning the seats they wish to occupy, that the same 
may be laid before the managers, to enable them to take early measures for 
their accommodation. The chapel is now warmed by a couple of stoves, and 
the floors are covered with mattings. 


" The said managers, for the greater improvement of the harmony of the 
pubhc worship, having ordered a proper number of boys to be educated to 
music, for the purpose of accompanying the organ, that divine service may be 
performed on a plan better calculated to improve the knowledge and refine the 
taste for sacred music — hereby give notice, that they wish to procure a clerk 
or precentor for the Episcopal Chapel, of approved abilities and knowledge in 
music, and of an unexceptionable moral character ; and for this purpose, they 
request that all candidates for this situation may, as soon as possible, send a 
note of their names, professions, and places of abode to Mr. John Fergus, 
junior, organist, or Mr. William Goold, teacher of music in Glasgow, who will 
immediately inform such candidates when they may appear upon a comparative 
trial. The salary, exclusive of perquisites, is ^10 8s. per annum, besides the 
undoubted advantages which may be expected to arise from the establishment 
of an able and skilful teacher of church music in the city of Glasgow." 

The successful candidate for the above situation was a Mr. 
Banks, an Englishman, who possessed a good musical voice, and 
was an excellent performer on the violin. On the i8th of Feb- 
ruary 1788 the directors of the gentlemen's private concert gave 
Mr, Banks a benefit concert, in which Messrs. John Fergus and 
William Goold took parts, the former on the harpsicord and the 
latter on the German flute. On this occasion Mr. Banks sang 
" Ma chere Ami," and joined in several glees. In the second act 
he gave a violin concerto, which was much admired by musical 
connoisseurs, there being then no other eminent performer of 
Italian music in Glasgow. 

Mercury^ 12th May 1789. — "On Thursday, the 21st of May, in the 
English Chapel, will be performed several select pieces of sacred music, from 
the works of Handel, Marcello, Boyce, &c., 

For the Benefit of the Chapel Band. 

" The doors to be opened at six o'clock, and the performance will begin 
precisely at half an hour after six of the evening. Tickets : is each." 

The above entertainment was conducted by Mr. Banks for 
behoof of the chapel band, but soon afterwards he gave a public 
concert upon his own account, in the course of which he performed 
several airs on the psaltery, an instrument much in use amongst 
the ancient Hebrews, who called it " Nebel." The psaltery on 
which Mr. Banks performed was in shape somewhat like the 
modern violin, but had strings of brass wire. I was present at 
this concert, and I think that the psaltery used by Mr. Banks 


was quite different from the ancient instrument, wiiich had thirteen 
strings and two bridges ; whereas Mr. Banks's psaltery had only a 
small number of strings and but one bridge ; besides he made use 
of the violin bow to draw out the notes, when, on the contrary, 
the ancient Jewish musicians struck the strings with a plectrum, or 
slender crooked stick. The performance of Mr. Banks on this in- 
strument turned out a complete failure, and this gentleman never 
attempted a second time to perform publicly on the psaltery. 
The organist of St. Andrew's Chapel at this time was Mr. John 
Fergus. He was a teacher of music, and was greatly respected 
by all ranks of our citizens. His manners were mild and un- 
assuming, and as he possessed considerable talents as a musician, 
he was frequently invited to private musical parties. He always 
attended those parties as a guest, and I never heard of his hav- 
ing made any professional charge when invited to attend private 
musical parties. Besides being an excellent performer on the 
organ and pianoforte, he also led the violoncello, or double bass, at 
all our public concerts, and likewise at the gentlemen's subscrip- 
tion concerts, attending the rehearsals ''gratis!' 

Mr. Fergus composed several pieces of music, amongst which 
was " The Royal Glasgow Volunteer March," which, in the volun- 
teer days of the French war, animated the ranks and files of our 
citizen soldiers on their marches to and from their parades on the 

Dr. Cleland, in his Rise and Progress, at page i6, informs 
us that prior to i8o6the Scotch and English Episcopalians in 
Scotland were considered as distinct bodies, but in the beginning 
of that year a union took place. That the first diet of confirma- 
tion of Episcopalians in Glasgow took place on the 15 th of May 

1 Glasgow Mercury, l8th October 1781. — "MUSIC. — John Fergus, junior, begs 
leave in this manner to acquaint the public that he teaches the harpsicord, pianoforte, 
and organ upon reasonable terms. Having made music his particular study under the 
best masters in Edinburgh, and since, under Mr. Esden of Durham Cathedral, and 
others in England, he flatters himself he will be able to give complete satisfaction to his 
employers. He also teaches church music in the English chapel here ; he will teach 
gratis the children of parents belonging to that congregation who are unable to pay for 
their instruction. . . . John Fergus returns his most grateful thanks to those who for- 
merly employed him, and hopes to merit their further favours, and the favours of the 
public at large. 

<« jj;B. — He tunes harpsicords, pianofortes, organs, &c." 


1806, Avhen ninety persons \vere ^confirmed by Bishop Drummond, 
This happened two years before the death of the Rev. Mr. Falconer, 
and at the time when the Rev. Mr. Routledge was junior minister. 
The Doctor in his Annals, at page 153, further says that the sti- 
pend of Mr. Routledge after the death of the Rev. Mr. Falconer, 
was ;^300 per annum, and that the sittings of the chapel in 1820 
amounted to 641. 

Denholm, in his History of Glasgow, at page 171, says that 
when the English Chapel was erecting in 175 i, it met with no 
little opposition from the fanatical spirit prevailing amongst the 
lower orders, who vilified it by the appellation of the Whistling 
Kirk. The spirit of these times is luckily now changed by giving 
place to more enlarged and generous ideas. 

Even down to my early days the operative classes in Glasgow 
almost unanimously were hostile to Episcopacy, looking upon the 
English service as being too nearly allied to Popery to be in 
accordance with the word of God ; and although Denholm says 
that on this subject the spirit of the times has changed, I am 
afraid that there is still a little lingering of the same spirit exist- 
ing amongst many of the lower orders in Glasgow. 

About eighty years ago I remember of the following cutting 
lampoon against the English Episcopalians having been told to 
me by an operative weaver who had lived during the time that 
St. Andrew's Chapel was building. 

It must first be noticed that the act of building St. Andrew's 
Parish Church proceeded at a snail's pace, more than thirty years 
having been consumed in erecting that edifice ; while, on the con- 
trary, the building of the English Chapel went forward at race- 
horse speed, the foundations of it having been laid in 1750, and 
the chapel opened in 175 i. 

My informant said that while St. Andrew's Parish Church was 
building, in the year 1750, Mungo Naysmith, the foreman of the 
masons employed in its erection, happened one morning very 
early, before dawn of day, to be standing upon the walls of the 
said church inspecting the workmanship of the masons previous 
to any of the operatives of the craft arriving to their daily labour, 
when, accidentally casting his eyes towards the English Chapel, 


then in the course of erection, he was surprised to see a strange 
uncouth figure there busily employed in furthering the building, 
and carrying huge stones (which would have required six of 
Mungo's men to move) with as much ease as if they had been 
feathers, and placing the same in position towards the erection of 
the building. While Mungo was thus gazing with amazement at 
the spectacle, the figure raised itself to its full height, and called 
out to Mungo : " Mungo, Mungo come over here and help me to 
build my kirk !" " Na, na," instantly quoth Mungo to the figure ; 
" fegs, my lad, I ken better than that. The Lord sef us, man, wha 
are you?" But no sooner had Mungo pronounced the word 
" Lord," than the figure vanished in a twinkling. Mungo, how- 
ever, positively affirmed that he distinctly saw that it had horns 
on its head and cloven feet ! My informant told me the story 
with the greatest glee, as a capital joke currently handed about 
amongst the working classes of his youth, who were delighted 
with the innuendo against the Episcopalians. 

Although the lower orders in Glasgow were hostile to Episco- 
pacy, it was otherwise with the Magistrates of the city and higher 
classes of the community, who were at least tolerant, if not indif- 
ferent on the subject, as the following notice shows : — 

Glasgow Journal, 23d August 1764. — " On Sunday last (19th), the Right 
Rev. Dr. Littleton, bishop of Cadisle, preached in the morning to a crowded 
audience in the hcensed Episcopal Chapel here, and in the afternoon, he went 
with the Right Hon. Lord Wentworth and his son, and attended divine service 
in the High Church. They were waited on next day by the magistrates, and 
had the compliments of the city." 

(Archibald Ingram was at this time Provost of Glasgow.) 
Dr. Gordon informs us that Willow Acre belonged to three 
brothers — John, Robert, and Thomas Moodie. 'John was dea- 
con of the gardeners in the years 1725-6, 1729-30, and 1734. 
Robert was deacon of the same incorporation in 173 1-2 and 


The lands of Willow Acre seem to have originally extended 

to both sides of the Camlachie Burn, and apparently to have em- 
braced Castle Boins, which was joined to the left bank of the burn, 
and was bounded by the waters of the stream itself on the north. 


Dr. Gordon states that the grounds of the Episcopal Chapel con- 
sisted of 1083 square ells, but as a Scotch acre contains 6150^ 
English yards, the chapel lands could only have been about the 
sixth part of the Willow Acre grounds. 

Dr. Gordon having stated that the ground on which the 
chapel was built formerly formed part of the lands called Willow 
Acre, he suggests that the name may have been given to it in 
consequence of willows growing by the two brooks which flowed 
past the plot of ground. But although I possess little antiquarian 
knowledge, I doubt the correctness of this derivation, for willow 
is an English word and Saiichie Acre should have been the 
Scotch term. 

I would derive the term Willow Acre from the Scotch and 
Saxon word weel, well, or wele, which signifies an eddy or whirl- 
pool in a stream, and it will be seen from the Plan that Willow 
Acre stood upon a bend of the Camlachie Burn at Castle Boins, 
where formerly there were washings, and probably an eddy. In 
the same manner we see the entry from the Saltmarket to the 
Molendinar Burn called the Weel Close, leading to a bend of the 
said burn where washings took place. (See Plan.) The ancient 
term, in my opinion, was the "Weel Acre," corrupted into the Willow 
Acre, as Sauchie Haugh has been perverted into Sauchiehall, and 
Shield Haugh into Shieldhall. I refer to a former part of these 
jottings at page 197 as to the Weel Close. 

Perhaps it may be objected to my etymology that acre is not 
an ancient Scotch word ; but Jamieson says that Acker- dale, 
means divided into single acres. Aecer, an acre, and dael-en, to 

In the Origines Parochiales, vol. i. p. 507, we find as follows : — 

" In a not of some informationes concerning the valour of a certane of the 
personage teynds of Ranfrew, dated March 165 i, it is stated that the towne 
of Ranfrew, comprehending the borrow aikers, with the knock, Sandiefurd and 
Bogside is a ten pund land." 

I only further add that the Encyclopaedia says, that acre 
signified any open ground, especially a wide champaign, and in 
this antique sense it seems to be preserved in the names of places 


as " Castle Acre," etc. But I must leave this knotty point to 
some of our Glasgow antiquaries, who are more able to handle the 
subject in a satisfactory manner than me. 

As there never was any street called " Brook Street " in the 
Bridgegate district of Glasgow, I suppose that Dr. Gordon in 
alluding to the said street means " Brook Street," in the Bridge- 
ton district of the city at Mile-end, which there is near the Cam- 
lachie Burn, 

With regard to the original directors of the St. Andrew's 
Episcopal Chapel, Alexander Oswald, the first in the list of 
directors, died at Scotstown, 27th January 1763. 

Casper Claussen was a Dutchman brought from Holland by 
the Western or Stockwell Sugar House Company, to improve and 
superintend the manufacture of their sugar-refining process. 

James Dennistoun belonged to the Colgrain family, and was 
probably the father of the James Dennistoun who married Miss 
Mary Ramsay Oswald, fifth daughter of George Oswald of Scots- 

Andrew Stalker was a bookseller, and also the Editor of the 
Glasgozv Joumal. He lived in a house which stood across the 
Molendinar Burn, near the Gallowgate Bridge on the south, which 
house is shown on the Plan annexed to these jottings. 

As for the other directors, I have found no particulars regard- 
ing them. 

In reference to the vestry of the chapel having been broken 
into in 1812 by Stewart and M Arthur, I find the following 
account of the trial of those persons in the Scots Magazine of 
I 812, at page 801 : — 

"Glasgow Circuit Court of Justiciary, Wednesday, 7th October 18 12. — 
James Stewart and William M 'Arthur, were accused of breaking into the 
vestry of the English Chapel, on the night of Monday the 4th, and of Wednes- 
day the 6th of May, and feloniously carrying off one minister's gown, silk, one 
minister's cassock, ditto, two minister's gowns, bombazeen, three linen sur- 
plices, one black silk scarf, one table cloth, five towels, one great coat. 

" Elizabeth Menzies, otherwise Stewart, was accused resetting these articles, 
knowing them to be stolen. The pannels pleaded not guilty, and after a 
number of witnesses had been examined, the diet was deserted simpliciter 
ap-ainst Elizabeth Menzies. Lord Gillies delivered an admirable charge to 


the jury, who returned a verdict unanimously finding James Stewart and Wm. 
M 'Arthur guilty of the crime libelled, and they were both sentenced to be 
hanged in Glasgow, on Wednesday the i8th of November. 

" M 'Arthur asserted his innocence after the sentence, and called God to 
witness that he told the truth." 

Dr. Gordon says : — 

"These two persons being sentenced to be capitally executed on the i8th 
November the same year ; but Mr. Routledge and the congregation having 
petitioned the Prince Regent for mercy, the sentence was commuted to trans- 
portation for life." 

But in addition to the above-mentioned petition for mercy, it 
may be remarked that the pannels were accused not only of theft, 
but also of being habit and repute thieves. They were found 
guilty of the first charge, but the last was not proven, and it was 
supposed that this circumstance tended greatly to influence the 
Crown to listen to the petition of Mr. Routledge and the con- 
gregation of St. Andrew's for a commutation of the capital 

The sum of ;^i : i6s. sterling of "dead-earnest," which was 
paid when the ground of the chapel was bought, appears to have 
been given by the buyers as a symbol or mark that the bargain 
was perfected, and came in lieu of the ancient Scotch mode of 
finishing bargains by the mutual licking of thumbs. 

The ground for the chapel and churchyard thus purchased, 
according to Dr. Gordon, consisted of 1083 square ells, at ;^i 
Scots, or IS. 8d. English, which amounts to ^90 : 5s. sterling of 
annual feu-duty, or rather less than is. 8d. per square yard, the 
Scots ell being 37ith inches in length, and the English square 
yard 36 inches. Scotch square ells are now generally reckoned 
in round numbers as English square yards. 

Our learned antiquarian citizen J. B. informs us that the 
ground now the site of the English Episcopal Chapel originally 
formed part of the ancient lands of " Eaglesholm Croft," which 
extended from the Saltmarket eastward to the Burnt Barns, and 
from the Gallowgate south to the Green. J. B. further says that 
the ground of the said chapel came into the possession of St. 
Nicholas Hospital, and that although it actually lies within the 


territory of the burgh, it does not hold burgage of the Crown, 
through the Magistrates, and consequently the chapel lands are 
held of St. Nicholas Hospital as the superiors. St. Nicholas 
Hospital was sold by the Magistrates of Glasgow, on the 1 3th 
July 1798. It fronted Adelphi Street, and stood about ten yards 
east from the Main Street of Gorbals. The ground consisted of 
551 square yards. 

But to return to matters immediately regarding the chapel 
establishment. James Riddoch was the first minister ; he was 
admitted in 1750. Mr. Riddoch was afterwards preferred to be 
minister of St. Paul's at Aberdeen. He remained only one year 
in Glasgow. Mr. John Falconer was ordained by the Bishop of 
Carlisle at Rose Castle, and was minister of Musselburgh before 
he came to Glasgow. He was admitted in the year 1 751, and 
died in 1808, having been fifty-seven years in the ministry at 
Glasgow. Mr. Sanderson was admitted as junior minister in 1783, 
and left the chapel in 1785. Mr. William Andrews was admitted 
as junior minister in 1785. He was an American Royalist, who 
took refuge in this country soon after the breaking out of the 
American War in 1774. He left Glasgow in the year 1787, and 
was succeeded by Mr. James Franks, who was admitted as junior 
minister in 1788. Mr. Franks was preferred to a cure in Halifax, 
Yorkshire, and left Glasgow in 1791. The Rev. Dr. Wynne 
succeeded Mr. Franks, but he most probably was only a tem- 
porary assistant, as Mr. James Forster was admitted as junior 
minister in 1791, being the same year that Mr. Franks left Glas- 
gow. Mr. Forster was a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge ; 
he left Glasgow in 1794. Mr. James Francis Grant was admitted 
as junior minister in 1794. He was the son of Sir James Grant 
of Monymusk. He left Glasgow in the year 1795, and was 
succeeded by Mr. William Routledge, who was admitted as junior 
minister and assistant to Mr. Falconer on the 20th of April 1795. 
Mr. Routledge was from St. Bridges, in Cumberland, He was 
ordained deacon by the Bishop of Carlisle in 1791, and priest by 
the Archbishop of York in 1794. Mr. Falconer having died in 
1808, Mr. Routledge then succeeded him as first minister. Mr. 
Routledge died in 1843, and at that date was succeeded by the 


Rev. William Nerval, so particularly noticed by Dr. Gordon in 
his pastoral addresses. Mr. Norval was succeeded in 1844 by 
the present incumbent, the Rev. J. F. S. Gordon, D.D., from 
whose interesting notices I have given so much valuable in- 
formation as to the early history of St. Andrew's Episcopal 


General Wolfe in Glasgow in 1753 — Wade's sketch of the Episcopal Chapel — Bishop 
Home's opinion of the Scotch Episcopalians— Roman Catholic Meeting-House 
eighty years ago — Burgess Oath — Popery riot in Glasgow in 1779-80 — Address to 
Lord George Gordon — Statute Labour Assessment in 1765 — Sundry regulations 
by Town Council — Bailie Bogle's villa, 1712 — Conclusion. 

The late Captain William Marshall of Rothesay at his death was 
the oldest Episcopalian in Scotland. In a letter which I lately- 
received from him he says : — 

" My father, (Robert Marshall), who came from England, was one of the 
original promoters of St. Andrew's Chapel, along with old Mr. Norris, bleacher, 
at the head of the Green, when the Camlachie Burn was a pure stream, and 
they were greatly assisted by the officers of an English regiment which then 
lay in Glasgow. This was always said in our family. You are right regarding 
the greater gentility of the English Chapel in Glasgow, when there was no 
other Episcopal Chapel in Scotland, excepting in Edinburgh. There were a 
few meeting-houses of non-jurors scattered over the country, especially in the 
north. With the nobility and gentry of the west of Scotland, who had sittings 
in St. Andrew's Chapel, I remember the Lowndes family, of Paisley, coming 
to St. Andrew's Chapel in a grand coach," &c. 

In reference to what Captain Marshall states of the parties 
who assisted in promoting the scheme of erecting an Episcopal 
Church in Glasgow, the old Mr. Norris at the head of the Green, 
mentioned as above, was the father of the late Alexander Norris, 
born in 1 7 5 i , who was so generally known in Glasgow by the 
familiar name of " Sandy Norris." Captain Marshall states that 
the promoters were greatly assisted in furthering the scheme of 
erecting the said chapel by the officers of an English regiment 
which then lay in Glasgow. Now, it is known that Wolfe's 


regiment lay in Glasgow when the Episcopal Chapel was building, 
and it is remembered that General Wolfe attended service in the 
said chapel in the year 1753, when he was residing with William 
Orr, Esq., of Barrowfield, the father of the late John Orr, town- 

Quarterly Review, 1848, page 350. — "We have read General Wolfe's 
letters to his father and mother, during his service in Scotland, under the 
Duke of Cumberland, in 1746, and a subsequent residence in Glasgow. We 
remember that he attended various classes in the College there, a good example 
for young garrison officers ; but at leaving the place, signified that there were 
only two things he should remember with tenderness, ' its young ladies and 
breakfasts,' both of which, we believe, still command the approbation of 
military connoisseurs." 

The Rev. W. M. Wade, A.M., author of Walks in Oxford, etc. 
writing in 1822, thus describes St. Andrew's Episcopal Chapel of 
Glasgow at the above-mentioned date : — 

" The Episcopal Chapel, standing in the midst of its well-walled and 
neatly-railed burying-ground, has something attractive in its exterior. It is 
built of good squared freestone ; has a projecting entrance porch on the west ; 
is lighted by two tiers of windows, all square however, except that over the 
communion table, which is of the Venetian kind, and exhibits as completive 
decoration at top, four pediments, together with sundry urns. Within, although 
certain peculiarities springing from a requisite economy of space, are observ- 
able, the chapel is handsome. As the windows, though sufficiently numerous, 
are not large, and the three eastern ones, that in the centre, partly through 
the organ standing before it, partly through its being made by painted blinds 
to imitate painted windows, admit not fully the splendours of day. The 
general light of the interior has in it a good deal of the ' dim religious char- 
acter ' that Milton loved. The beautiful gilt lustres that once accommodated 
and adorned the interior, are vanished ; but other ornaments have been 
adopted. The great richness of effect marks the combination of altar, pulpit, 
organ, and choristers' loft, at the east end of the chapel. Decoration has, 
indeed, been too freely bestowed upon the organ and its appendages. For the 
unusual position of the semi-circular gallery containing the organ, namely, just 
over the communion table, the necessity of gaining seat room in the western 
gallery is a sufficient apology ; but the effect produced by extending the wings 
of the organ case, so as to comprehend the ' door ' into the organ gallery is 
decidedly bad. A too great profusion of gilding also appears ; otherwise the 
exterior even of an instrument of no common merit is handsome. So is the 
pulpit, in front of which, gradually descending, are placed the reading desk, 
and clerk's pew. It is canopied by a handsome sounding board, sustained by 
a square panelled pillar, with a capital of the composite order, and capped 


by a gilded mitre. The hangings are crimson. Over the communion table 
are, in handsome panels and in gold letters, the Decalogue, Creed, and Pater- 
noster. The opposite gallery — that on the west — has a semi-circular project- 
ing front. Like the two side galleries, it is panelled, and is, in common with 
them, sustained by bronzed pillars. Most of the pews are lined. Nearly 700 
persons may sit in this chapel, which in winter is warmed by a large stove 
placed in the entrance porch ; this gives out heated air, which is, by means of 
large perforated tubes carried longitudinally through the chapel, beneath the 
front of the galleries, made to diffuse itself in the interior. At the west end 
of the chapel is the vestry, in which is kept a library, of the kind termed in 
England 'Parochial Lending Libraries.' It was founded nearly two years ago, 
through the instrumentality of the most esteemed clergyman, Mr. Routledge, 
and bids fair to be very useful. 

" We had almost forgotten to remark that the subject of the great eastern 
window is the ' Transfiguration,' and that the chapel contains one monument. 
The latter is of white marble, to the memory of a contributor to the building. 
This chapel was founded in 1750, a time at which prejudice ran absurdly 
high against the Church Episcopal ; so much did the organ offend, that for a 
length of time the populace were wont to term the chapel the ' ivhistling 

" The choral establishment is here on an exceedingly liberal footing, and 
is conducted with great taste and ability by the present organist, Mr. John 

The largest number in any single year of communicants and 
of baptisms in St. Andrew's Episcopal Chapel happened in the 
year 1815, when Mr. Routledge was assistant to the Rev. Mr. 
Falconer. In 181 5, during the four festivals of Easter, Whit- 
sunday, Michaelmas, and Christmas, the communicants amounted 
to 904, and the baptisms in the same year were 1016. 

The Scotch Episcopal bishops of my early days were as 
follows : — Bishop William Falconer, who, we are told by our 
church historians, had been minister of a chapel at Forres, and 
was consecrated at Alloa on the loth September 1741, was elected 
bishop in 1761, and died in 1784. Bishop William Abernethy 
Drummond was elected bishop in 1787, and resigned in favour 
of Dr. Daniel Sandford in 1806. Dr. Sandford, on the 17th 
January 1806, was elected by the clergy of Edinburgh to be their 
bishop. He was the author of several professional works. 

The present bishop is the Rev. William Scot Wilson, A.M., 
ordained in 1827, and consecrated in 1859. 

Dr. Gordon informs us that in the year 1 8 1 6 the waters of 

FLOOD OF 1816. 251 

the Clyde rose inside of St. Andrew's Chapel four or five feet 
above the floor. On this occasion the river rose seventeen feet 
above its usual level ; and Denholm says that the chapel was 
inundated by the Clyde, to such a height as not only to cover the 
humble situation of the clerk, but even to bathe in its waters the 
footstool of the more dignified pulpit. I remember this flood very 
well. The Clyde then reached in Stockwell Street to the present 
Stockwell Place, and the sunk floors of the tenements still higher 
up the street were inundated from the regorgeraent of the common 
sewer in the centre of the street, from which the waters oozed, 
owing to the foundations being of sand. This flood, however, 
was considerably less than the great flood of 1782, before noticed, 
when the perpendicular rise of the river above the ordinary tide 
was a trifle above twenty feet, consequently, the area of the chapel 
must then have been submerged to the extent of upwards of 
seven feet. 

Keith in his Bishops, on the last page of his treatise, thus 
concludes his work : — 

" Bishop Home had such an opinion of the Scotch Episcopal Church as 
to think that if the great Apostle of the Gentiles were upon earth, and if it 
were put to his choice, with what denomination of Christians he would com- 
municate, the preference would, probably, be given to the Episcopalians of 
Scotland, as most like the people he had been used to." 

In the Plan annexed to the present jottings it will be seen 
that Dr. Woodrow's garden was enclosed by a strong wall, and 
was bounded on the west by the Molendinar Burn, so that the 
passage along the left bank of the said burn was interrupted, and 
the only regular access to the Episcopal Chapel in 1760 was by 
way of Saltmarket Street ; the chapel, however, might have been 
approached through the long and dirty closes opposite the Bridge- 
gate, and then across the bridge, at the corner of Dr. Woodrow's 

I have a map of Glasgow, dated 1779, in which the ground 
of Dr. Woodrow's garden is represented as being vacant, and free 
from all erections. It appears as an open space of ground, 
bounded by a wall on the west, and having a foot-road between 
the said wall and the Molendinar Burn. About eighty years ago 


I remember the property in question in this state, and it continued 
so after St. Andrew's Square was formed. About 1770, as before 
stated, there was a plan projected of forming a square on the 
lands of Merkdailly, but after some progress had been made, and 
buildings had commenced to be erected, the scheme was abandoned, 
and the materials sold. It is probable that the walls which sur- 
rounded Dr. Woodrow's garden were at that time demolished. 

I have not been able to learn anything certain regarding the 
history of this Dr. Woodrow, but I see that the Rev. Alexander 
Woodrow was admitted minister to the Tron Church of Glasgow 
in the year 1701, and Dr. Woodrow might, perhaps, have been 
his son. I have no evidence, however, of this being the fact. 
None of our Glasgow historians have taken notice of such a person 
as Dr. Woodrow residing in Glasgow about this time ; whether he 
was a D.D., M.D., or LL.D., I cannot say with certainty ; but I 
observe amongst a long list of subscribers in Glasgow to Wod- 
row's CJmrch History, published in 1 721, the name of "John 
Woodrow, doctor of medicine," who, I suppose, is the Dr. Woodrow 
whose garden is delineated on the Plan. 

When St. Andrew's Square was built in 1787, a convenient 
entrance was made to the foot-road leading to the English Chapel 
by means of a covered arch or tunnel having been formed through 
the tenement at the south-west corner of the Square, by which 
ready access to St. Andrew's Chapel was obtained by way of 
Saltmarket, the " Weel Close " (or St. Andrew's Open) and the 
Square. At this time the footpath in question had no distinctive 
name, but it is now known as " Low Green Street," which leads 
from St. Andrew's Square to Greendyke Street. 

About eighty years ago there was a Roman Catholic meeting- 
house in the first storey of a back tenement, at the foot of a long 
close, opposite the Bridgegate (see the Plan). This close was 
bounded on the east by the Molendinar Burn, and led to the 
bridge over the burn at the corner of Dr. Woodrow's garden. 

I remember in 1782 of seeing the congregation of this Roman 
Catholic meeting-house when they were separating after having 
attended divine service on a Sunday, and remarked at the time 
that the members of this congregation appeared to be mostly 


operatives and labourers, and that their number apparently did 
not exceed from twenty to thirty persons. This was then the 
only Roman Catholic Chapel in Glasgow. The Roman Catholics 
in Glasgow are now estimated to amount to upwards of 100,000 

Mr. Pagan, writing in 1 8 5 i , in Glasgow, Past and Present, 
vol. i. pp. 119, 120, informs us that — 

" Near to this spot three closes have their termination, and though much 
altered of late years, they still present a curious specimen of labyrinthine 
city architecture. The southmost belonged to the late Dr. Rae Wilson, the 
Eastern traveller, who died only a few weeks ago in London, and whose 
remains have since been brought down and interred in the Necropolis here. 
In this close, about seventy years ago, the few Roman Catholics then in Glas- 
gow would appear to have gathered together, and heard mass for the first time 
since their expulsion from the Cathedral, more than 200 years ago. They 
met by stealth, as if engaged in a deed of darkness. . . . 

" Although there are still some narrow old turnpike stairs in the upper 
part of the close alluded to above, the 'chapel' must have been long since 
removed, possibly to make way for Low Green Street, which for a space runs 
parallel with the Molendinar. The house near the bottom of the close is now 
converted into a byre, in which on Friday last, we saw four-and-twenty gaucy 
cows chewing the cud." 

Mr. Pagan further adds that, according to information fur- 
nished to him by the kindness of the Roman Catholic bishop, in 
the year 1846 there were no fewer than 3000 children baptized 
in the various Catholic places of worship in the city. 

In my early days Roman Catholics were shamefully persecuted 
in Glasgow ; and even down to the present times there still re- 
mains a sprinkling of the same ungenerous feeling among many 
of our rigid clergymen towards those who profess Popery, as if it 
were a crime conscientiously to follow the ancient doctrine of the 
Christian church of their forefathers. There is scarcely a news- 
paper of the day in which are not to be seen numerous advertise- 
ments of sermons, lectures, and other publications inveighing 
against Roman Catholic principles. Protestant clergymen, how- 
ever, ought to look at the excellent example of moderation which 
the Jewish rabbis show by keeping themselves clear of all discord 
and wrangling in religious matters with those who profess different 
tenets from themselves ; they strictly follow the golden rule, that 


" Whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even 
the same to them ; for this is the law and the prophets." The 
Jews never send forth missionaries or distribute tracts for the 
purpose of making proselytes, although by the lex talionis they 
would be fully justified in doing so, but quietly remain in peace 
and amity with their brethren of all sects and opinions. 

That the Roman Catholics were a persecuted body in Glasgow 
during last century is evident from the terms of the Burgess Oath 
of the city, which was as follows : — 

Burgess Oath. 

" Here I protest before God. that I confess and allow with my heart the 
true religion presently professed within this realm, and authorised by the laws 
thereof : I shall abide thereat, and defend the same to my life, and renouncing 
the Roman religion called Papistry. I shall be leal and true to our sovereign 
lord the King's Majesty, and to the provost and bailies of this burgh. I shall 
obey the officers thereof, fortify, maintain, and defend them in the execution 
of their office with my body and goods. I shall not colour unfreemen's goods 
under colour of my own. In all taxations, watchings, and wardings to be laid 
upon the burgh, I shall willingly bear my part thereof, as I am commanded 
thereto by the magistrates. I shall not purchase nor use exemptions to be 
free thereof, renouncing the benefit of the same for ever. I shall do nothing 
hurtful to the liberties and common well of this burgh. I shall not brew nor 
cause brew any malt, but such as is grinded at the town's milns ; and shall 
grind no other corns except wheat, pease, rye, and beans, but at the same 
allenarly : and how oft as I shall happen to break any part of this my Oath, I 
oblige me to pay to the common affairs of this burgh the sum of one hundred 
pounds Scots money, and shall remain in ward while the same be paid. So 
help me God. 

*' I shall give the best counsel I can, and conceal the counsel shown to me. 
I shall not consent to dispose the common goods of this burgh but for ane 
common cause and ane common profit. I shall make concord where discord 
is, to the utmost of my power. In all lienations and neighbourhoods, I shall 
give my leal and true judgment, but price, prayer, or reward. So help me God." 

It will be seen from the terms of the above oath that no 
Roman Catholic could become a burgess of Glasgow without 
committing perjury ; a Jew or Mohammedan might safely take 
the above oath, and so become a burgess of the city ; but it was 
otherwise with regard to Papists. 

Further, it was common among the trades' crafts, when a 
petition was given in to them by a person desirous of becoming a 


member of one of these incorporations, for the deacon of the craft, 
as a preliminary, to demand the production of the applicant's 
burgess ticket ; consequently, a Roman Catholic was debarred 
from becoming a member of any of the crafts of Glasgow, without 
forswearing himself A Catholic was thus shut out from becom- 
ing a trader in Glasgow. 

By Act of Parliament 1700, it was declared that — 

" No persons professing the Popish reHgion past the age of fifteen years 
shall be capable to succeed as heirs to any person whatever, nor to bruik or 
enjoy any estate by disposition or other conveyance, flowing from any person to 
whom the said Papists might succeed as heirs in any manner of way, until the 
said heirs purge themselves of Popery." 

By this Act a Catholic could not succeed to a lair in a kirk- 
yard where the bones of his ancestors were deposited unless he 
took the oath renouncing the Roman religion called Papistry — 
thereby purging himself of Popery. 

In February 1756 Hugh M'Donald, brother of M'Donald of 
Morar, was tried before the Lords of Justiciary for being a Papist ; 
and having refused to purge himself of Popery, by taking the 
usual oath and formula, he was found guilty, and sentenced to be 
banished forth of the realm, with certification, that if ever he 
returned thereto, being still a Papist, he shall be punished with 
the pain of death. {Scots Magazine, page 1 00.) 

Having given a particular account of the Popery riots in 
Glasgow in 1778 and 1779, in Glasgow, Past and Present, vol. 
ii. p. 263, I shall not repeat the article. I was at that time 
very young, but I remember that my parents (being Dissenters) 
were so afraid that the mob would look upon them as Papists, 
and would attack and plunder our house, that they shut all the 
windows, and would not permit any of the family to go out of 
doors. This was done in order that the mob might think the 
house was without a tenant, and so to pass it over. Our house 
was situated near to Bagnall's shop, in King Street, which was 
burst open, and everything in it broken and destroyed. That the 
fears of my parents were not without some foundation evidently 
appears from the following advertisement of the time, taken from 
the Glasgow Mercury of i ith February 1779 : — • 


" As a report has been wantonly or maliciously raised and industriously 
spread against Andrew Philp, shopkeeper in the Gallowgate, that he is of the 
Papist profession, which is entirely false, he earnestly desires, that if any can 
give such information of the persons who have raised the report as will lay a 
foundation for a legal process against them, they will communicate the same, 
and they shall be handsomely rewarded. Andrew Philp." 

Glasgow Mercury, 4th March 1779. — "Just published, price 6d, a half- 
sheet emblematical print, representing the introduction of the Popish Bill. 
Among the figures in the print are The Whore, Beast, Pope, Devil, &;c. It is 
to be sold by Messrs Dunlop and Wilson, John Smith, James Duncan, and the 
other booksellers." 

On the iith of May 1781 the eighty-five Protestant societies 
of Glasgow, by their preses, John Paterson, wrote to Lord George 
Gordon — 

" I have the honour to transmit to your Lordship a draft for ^485 sterling, 
as a token of our esteem for you as a sincere friend to the Protestant cause. 
We judged it expedient to transmit you this sum in the meantime, as our sub- 
scriptions are not quite closed. We understand there will be a subscription 
from Paisley, in connexion with some other places." 

To which his Lordship answered by acknowledging the receipt of 
the ;^485, and adding — 

" This instance of the affection of the societies and other friends in Glas- 
gow gives me the greatest comfort and satisfaction, and I beg that you will 
take the earliest opportunity of returning them my most sincere thanks for so 
convincing a proof of their real esteem and approbation. You may assure the 
societies that it is my fixed determination to persevere, by the grace of God, in 
maintaining and promoting, by all lawful endeavours, the true Protestant interest 
in these kingdoms to the latest period of my life. George Gordon." 

In 1793 an Act of Parliament was passed authorising magis- 
trates of royal burghs to admit Roman Catholics to be burgesses 
and guild brethren of their respective burghs on the administration 
of an oath, whereby the applicant is to declare, inter alia, that he 
will be faithful and bear true allegiance to his Majesty George III., 
and to the Hanoverian succession ; that he rejects and detests the 
impious position that it is lawful to murder or destroy any per- 
sons whatsoever for, or under the pretence of, their being heretics 
or infidels ; or that faith is not to be kept with such persons. 
Further, he is bound to swear that he does not believe that the 


Pope of Rome has any civil or temporal jurisdiction, power, superi- 
ority, or pre-eminence, directly or indirectly, within the realm. 

Applications by Roman Catholics, under this Act, to become 
burgesses of the city of Glasgow were first made in the year 1 801. 
Since which time the Roman Catholics have enjoyed the usual 
freedom of their fellow-citizens, and have increased in numbers so 
as now to amount to 100,000 souls, or thereby. 

Although Roman Catholics are now enabled to become 
burgesses of Glasgow, I am not aware that any Papist ever 
obtained a seat at the Council Board of the city, while Christians 
of all other denominations, such as members of the Established, 
Free, Secession, and sectarian Churches are freely elected to that 
honour, without any regard being paid to their creeds. 

As Roman Catholics now constitute about one-fifth of the 
population of Glasgow, it would be but fair that they should have 
a representative at the Council Board, seeing that Papists are 
admitted to seats in the House of Commons, and that all classes 
should be fairly represented ; to say nothing about Catholic 
peers sitting in the House of Lords by descent. I am afraid, 
however, that a Roman Catholic candidate for city honours would 
have little chance of success at the poll if opposed by a Free 
churchman or active sectarian. 

In the Act admitting Catholics to become burgesses of royal 
burghs there is no clause enacting SECRECY, such as that in the 
early burgess oath of the city, viz. " I shall give the best counsel 
I can, and conceal the counsel shown to me." 

It was in consequence of this clause in the former burgess 
oath that the proceedings of the Council Board of Glasgow at that 
time were kept profoundly secret, the citizens of the burgh being 
held in complete ignorance of what their representatives were 
doing, until an order of Council was recorded allowing publicity. 
Hence in all our early newspapers there is not a word to be found 
about what was going on at meetings of the Magistrates and 
Council of the city, and so our magnates were freely allowed to 
elect themselves into office at the nod of some clique. Our fore- 
fathers were thus deprived of the pleasure of seeing in print an 
account of the oratorical flourishes and piquant bickerings, such 


as usually take place at our present Council Board among our 

Glasgow Mercury^ 14th February 1787. — "The Trades' House of this 
city having lately opened a correspondence with the magistrates and council 
relative to sundry grievances alleged to by members of the community, and 
having considered these grievances, and council's resolutions relative to the 
matters complained of, after due deliberation and reasoning at great length, 
came to the opinion that the present set of the burgh was inconsistent with the 
liberties of the citizens, and required alteration. The House therefore resolved 
that it was necessary to apply to Parliament for such alterations as the internal 
set of this burgh requires, either in conjunction with the other burghs of Scot- 
land, or for their own particular situation, whichever may be thought advisable ; 
and that proper care should be taken that the offices of magistrates and council, 
in any set that may be judged proper to adopt, should be so modelled, as to 
preserve among them a respectable and proper class of citizens." 

It was at this time that disputes first arose regarding Sunday 
delivery of letters. 

Mercury, 14th February 1787. — "The Postmaster-General has returned an 
answer to the requisition of the Chamber of Commerce, the ministers, and 
the merchants of this city, relative to the arrival and despatch of a post on 
Sunday, in which he observes that he cannot, in justice to the rest of the 
kingdom, give up the measure, but that, if the gentlemen who oppose it think 
proper, the letters brought by the Sunday's post, shall neither be sorted nor 
delivered till Monday." 

The following extract shows the origin of the statute labour 
assessment in Glasgow : — 

Glasgow Journal, 4th April 1765. — "By order of the magistrates of 
the city of Glasgow. — The magistrates considering that the trustees of the 
several turnpike roads leading into Glasgow having claimed the statute work 
of the city of Glasgow, the magistrates obtained a reasonable composition in 
favour of the inhabitants in place of the statute work, and agreed that eveiy 
householder, within the city, who possesses a house exceeding twenty-six 
shillings stg., real rent, should pay three shillings stg. of annual composition, 
but to be restricted to one shilling and sixpence in case of punctual payment, 
commencing at Whitsunday, 1760 ; and the magistrates named Patrick Mont- 
gomerie, collector of the cess, to uplift the composition money so agreed for. 
And though many of the householders have paid their composition, at the rate 
of one shilling and sixpence per year, the collector informs that a great many 
arrears are still outstanding, for enforcing the speedy payment whereof, the 
magistrates hereby order and require all persons who are in arrears for said 
composition, with all speed, to pay the same to Patrick Montgomerie, collector 


of the stent, at the stent office, certifying that such persons who shall fail to 
pay upon or before the 1 5th of April current, they will be prosecuted so far as 
the law will admit." 

From the concluding passage of the above advertisement the 
Magistrates of Glasgow seem to have been sensible that they had 
assumed power of levying a tax on the citizens without proper 
legal authority. 

Journal^ 17th January 1757. — " By order of the magistrates. — The magis- 
trates have fixed the assize and weight of wheat bread as follows. The bakers 
are discharged from baking any loaves, of the finest kind, of any higher value 
than twopence, and the 

Lb. Oz. Dr. 
Twopenny loaf to weigh . . . . . o 14 10 

The penny loaf . . . . . . . O 7 5 

The sixpenny loaf of the wheaten . . . . 420 

Ditto household 5 8 o 

" And so in proportion. The bakers to affix the letter F., on the fine, 
W. H. for wheaten, and H. for household." 

Journal, 2d January 1766. — "The corporation of bakers, in Glasgow, 
find themselves under the necessity of abolishing the custom of giving New- 
Year's-day presents to their customers, and have ordered this their resolution 
to be insert in the Glasgow Journal, that neither their friends in town and 
country may suffer themselves to be disappointed." 

Journal, 6th November 1766. — " On Tuesday last, Colin Campbell, boat- 
man, being convicted before the magistrates of forestalling the fish market, was 
fined in forty pounds, Scots, in terms of law." 

Journal, nth December 1766. — "The magistrates of Glasgow having 
received information that some of the inhabitants keep- in their shops and 
cellars, within the burgh, considerable quantities of gunpowder, from which 
the most fatal consequences may ensue, the magistrates hereby order all 
persons who have gunpowder in their shops, cellars, or other repositories 
within the city, immediately to carry and lodge the same in the common 
magazine for powder, at the Castle of Glasgow ; with certification, that if any 
gunpowder, exceeding six pounds weight, shall be found in the shops, cellars, 
or other repositories, of any of the inhabitants within this burgh, at any time 
within forty-eight hours, the proprietors of such powder shall be fined and 
punished in terms of law. Any persons who inform shall receive a reward of 
ten shillings stg., from the magistrates, upon conviction of the offender." 

Journal, 2d June 1763. — "By order of the magistrates and town council 
of Glasgow. — The magistrates and council, considering that the selling of 
salt within the burgh by weight and not by measure, is enjoined by the Con- 
vention of Royal Boroughs, and as selling salt by measure is attended with many 
frauds, resolve, that in time coming, salt shall be sold, within this burgh, by 


weight only, and strictly forbid and discharge all persons whatever, to sell any 
salt, within the burgh, from and after the first day of September next, otherwise 
than by weight, certifying such as shall fail, of their being fined in the unlaw 
of the burgh." 

But I must return from the foregoing digressive advertisements 
to the Green of Glasgow and its environs, which have been too 
long thrown in the background to make room for subjects which 
many of my readers may consider of no value whatever. 

On the south of the three labyrinthine closes mentioned 
by Mr. Pagan there stood an ancient building known as " Silver 
Craigs Land," at one time the property of the Campbells of " Silver 
Craigs." It was here that Oliver Cromwell lodged when he came 
to Glasgow. It stood back a few feet from the building-line of 
the Saltmarket, and became the property of Mr. M'Gilchrist, 
town- clerk of Glasgow, whose heirs appear to have turned it into 
a weaving factory, 

Glasgow Journal, i6th August 1764. — "Sale of Silver Craigs Factory. 
That all and hail the houses, and utensils, and yard, belonging to the Silver 
Craigs Manufactoiy, lying at the foot of the Saltmarket of Glasgow, are, jointly 
or separately, to be sold, by public roup, within the house of Mrs. Armour, at 
the Cross of Glasgow, upon the 6th of September next, between the hours of 
1 2 and 2 of that day. — Apply to John Wilson, writer in Glasgow." 

These subjects were subsequently converted into a shop and 
stand for the sale of old furniture, the articles of furniture being 
showily displayed in the open area between the buildings and 
Saltmarket Street. 

On the south of Silver Craigs Land there was a piece of 
vacant building-ground, which is thus described in the Merany of 
1st April 1779 : — 

"To be sold, about a rood of ground altogether, or a steading for one 
house, which lyes south of Silver Craigs Factory, at the foot of the Saltmarket, 
opposite to the Low Green. It is veiy convenient for building upon, as there 
is not the smallest probability of the light being interrupted by other buildings. 
— Apply to Alexander Harvey, the proprietor." 

The opposite corner of the Saltmarket and Bridgegate was a 
villa and garden belonging to Robert Bogle, who was bailie of 
Glasgow in 1 7 I 2. I remember the south portion of this property 


still remaining as a garden, in which there stood a summer-house 
or fancy tea-arbour, then considered an embellishment to a rural 

I shall now close these loose jottings of the Low Green of 
Glasgow and its environs, etc., which I am afraid many readers 
will think have been extended too far, and have embraced rather 
a superabundant proportion of advertisements, notices, and quota- 
tions, in proportion to more readable matter. To this charge I 
must plead guilty, only remarking, as an apology, that my object 
in so doing was to preserve a few of such notabilia as might tend 
to assist some future historian of Glasgow in elucidating any 
subject of our city's history, which might otherwise appear to 
require illustration. 

I have further to apologise for having introduced so many 
gossiping stories amongst these jottings ; but they have been 
given merely as characteristic of Glasgow in olden time, when 
such " bletherings " passed from mouth to mouth as the ordinary 
chit-chat of our citizens of all ranks. 



The following miscellaneous and desultory excerpta were pub- 
lished in the Glasgow Herald between the years 1856 and 1863 
inclusive. They are republished, with some trifling additions, as 
a sequel to the article regarding the Low Green of Glasgow and 
its environs, etc. 

As these jottings in many cases have reference to subjects 
which relate to more than one point treated of at the time, it 
necessarily happens that some quotations and advertisements are 
repeated ; but the loose character of the writings must be kept in 
view by the reader, as the only apology for so transgressing upon 
his patience. 

A writer of fragmenta like the following labours under many 
disadvantages when compared with the writers of History ; his 
subjects, in general, have necessarily no regular connection with 
each other, and being minutely related, are apt to become irksome 
and tiresome ; the ideas which are suggested are obliterated by 
the sudden appearance of an intruding article relating altogether 
to a new and extraneous subject, so that the reader is tantalised 
with a passing glimpse of various objects, which, like flakes of 
snow falling on a running stream, just appear and then vanish. 

History, on the contrary, has the advantage of being related 
in a uniform and connected series which follow in regular order, 
so that the reader is not harassed by the sudden interruption of 


new objects, but goes pleasantly along with the historian in his 
narration of facts without feeling languid and tired by sudden 
interruptions and intrusive passages. 

I am sensible that most readers will skip over a great part of 
these jottings, as is usually done in long chronological tracts ; but 
if any part of the annexed Additamenta shall prove useful to a 
future Glasgow historian, my object is gained. 



Seeing the discussions which are now going on in the Clyde 
Trust regarding Water Bailie matters, perhaps the following 
notice may prove interesting to your readers. 

In 1792 a case came before the Water Bailie Court of 
Glasgow, in which judgment having been pronounced in favour of 
the pursuer, the defender afterwards presented a petition to the 
Court of Session, praying their Lordships to find — 

" That the judgment pronounced by the Water Bailie of Glasgow is void, 
and that the question was incompetent to be tried before him, or at least before 
answer on that point to oblige the pursuer and the Water Bailie, as having 
sisted himself in the case, to condescend specially how far he was in use to 
exercise a civil jurisdiction of any kind during the subsistence of a Vice- 
Admiralty Court at Glasgow ; or, if he was, how far back, and to what extent, 
and in what kind of cause, such civil jurisdiction appears from the Records of 
the Court to have been exercised by him." 

The case was a very simple one, viz. — Thomas Ewing, a 
boatman, was in use to ply with a boat between Glasgow and 
Greenock, carrying goods and other merchandise. Donald La- 
mont, a small trader in Mull, placed some goods on board of 
Ewing's boat, which was to sail next morning from the Broomielaw 
for Greenock. These goods were correctly stowed along with the 
other goods in the proper and usual manner, and two tarpaulins 
fixed over the cargo. Ewing and his assistant boatman slept on 
board ; but about three o'clock next morning, upon getting up to 
observe the state of the weather, they found the hatchway fixed 
down, which with difficulty they got opened, and then they found 


that the tarpaulins had been removed, and one of the chests of 
goods broken open and its contents carried off. For the loss so 
sustained Lamont brought an action against Ewing before the 
Water Bailie, founding upon the edict Naut(2 Catipoiies Stabularii, 
in answer to which Ewing pled that the Water Bailie had no 
jurisdiction whatever to take cognisance of the question. The 
Water Bailie, having given judgment sustaining his jurisdiction, 
found Ewing liable for the value of the goods stolen, and also for 
expenses of process. Ewing presented a bill of advocation for the 
purpose of removing the question into the Court of Session, both 
with respect to the point of jurisdiction and upon its merits. The 
Lord Ordinary, on a short view of the case, was pleased to pro- 
nounce the following interlocutor : — 

"Finds that the jurisdiction of the Water Bailie of Glasgow was competent, 
and that he had sufficient power to determine in the cause, and therefore 
repels the reason of advocation specially insisted on on the part of the defender; 
and in respect the procurator for the defender declines stating his reasons of 
advocation as to the merits of the cause, repels also these reasons, and upon the 
whole remits the cause to the Water Bailie of Glasgow in common form ; and, 
lastly, finds the defender, the raiser of the advocation, liable to the pursuer in 
expenses, and appoints an account thereof to be given in." 

Upon advising a short representation, his Lordship, of date 
1 0th March 1792, adhered to his former interlocutor. 

The case having then come before the Inner House, it was 
stated to their Lordships that there was, till of late, an Admiralty- 
Court held at Glasgow, under a deputation from the Vice-Admiral 
of Scotland, whose jurisdiction extended originally over not only 
the Firth of Clyde, but a great part of the western coast of Scot- 
land, though it came afterwards, in consequence of certain grants 
to the family of Argyll and others, to be limited to certain parts 
of the Firth of Clyde, and which Court exercised a jurisdiction 
civil and criminal, cumulative with the High Court of Admiralty ; 
and, like other inferior Courts of Admiralty, was in use also, in 
imitation of that Court, to take cognisance of all mercantile cases, 
as well as those purely maritime, till this last practice was corrected, 
and its jurisdiction restrained to maritime causes alone, and the 
Court found incompetent to judge in those which were purely 


mercantile, even on the acquiescence or consent of parties in the 

The Vice- Admiralty Court, formerly held at Glasgow, together 
with those held in other parts of the country, being suppressed in 
consequence of certain arrangements adopted within these few years 
respecting the Court of Admiralty, the Water Bailie of Glasgow, in 
place of the limited jurisdiction formerly exercised by him, has 
begun to assume that civil jurisdiction formerly exercised by the 
Admiralty Depute for Clyde. Nor has he always, during this time, 
confined himself in its exercise to those questions strictly maritime ; 
but, in some late instances, taken cognisance of such as would not, 
it is believed, be found to come properly within that description. 

The grants to the family of Argyll before alluded to contained 
grants of an Admiralty jurisdiction, within their several bounds, 
in the most general and ample terms of the nature of the com- 
missions granted to the Vice-Admiralty Courts, where it was in 
view that they should exercise, in the first instance, the proper 
civil jurisdiction of a Court of Admiralty. An example may be 
found in the commission granted by the Earl of March, as Vice- 
Admiral of Scotland, to Robert Barclay, constituting him Admiral- 
Depute for the River and Firth of Clyde, 1768, 12th September,^ 
which gives power — 

" To him and his substitutes to sit, afifix, affirm, hold and continue Admiral 
Courts within any part of the said bounds, over all the limits thereof most 
commodious for that effect, and there to administer and do justice in all 
matters and causes civil and criminal that shall be intented and pursued 
before them, conform to the laws of Scotland ; acts to make decreets, and 
sentences to pronounce, and the same to due and lawful cause be put ; and to 
call for and require all his Majesty's lieges within the said bounds to put his, 
and his said substitutes, .'their decreets, to due and lawful execution, and 
generally with power to the said Robert Barclay to use, and exercise bruik, 
and enjoy, during oter pleasure only, the foresaid office within the foresaid 
bounds ; and to exact, intromit with, uplift and receive, the whole fees, duties, 
casualties, and profits thereof, during the continuance of this our commission 
to him ; and to act and do all things requisite and necessary thereanent, and 
fully and freely as any other Deputy Vice-Admiral and factor within the said 
bounds did, or might have done in any time bygone, or may do in time 
coming, reserving always to the High Court of Admiralty in Scotland the sole 

1 The former Brooniielaw Bridge was then building. 


power of cognoscing and determining in all prizes and piracies, and other 
capital crimes, and in all other causes and actions which shall be intented and 
pursued before the said High Court of Admiralty, against any person or persons 
within the foresaid bounds." 

The petitioner Ewing further pled, that with respect to the 
Water Bailie of Glasgow, the only authority which he could find 
for the nomination of such a magistrate and for the jurisdiction 
exercised by him within those parts of the River Clyde over which 
it extends, is an extract produced, with the answers to the Bill of 
a Charter from Charles I. to the City of Glasgow, dated i6th 
October 1636, which grants, or rather confirms, to them the 
privilege of naming a Water Bailie, and describes his jurisdiction 
in the following terms : — 

" Ac etiam libertatem, USUM, et possessionem, quam die : Burgos noster 
de Glasgow, et Magistratus ejusdem, habuerunt elijendi unum Ballivum, qui 
aquce prosit lie 'Water Bailie,' infra-diet, fluvium de Clyde, ubi mare fluit et 
refluit, et infra integras bondas ejusdem subtus pontem de Glasgow, ad lie 
Cloehstane, et corrigendi omnes injurias, et enormitates super dicto fluvius 
commiss : infra bondas ejusdem ; in omnibus et singulis capitibus articulis, 
conditionibus ei circumstantiis eorund : quibuscunque." 

Mr. William M'Leod Bannatyne,^ counsel for Ewing, argued 
that the jurisdiction given to the Water Bailie of Glasgow was 
conferred for the limited purpose " corrigendi omnes injurias et 
enormitates super dicto fluvio commissas " — viz. within the bounds 
of his jurisdiction as described, being from the Bridge of Glasgow 
to the Cloehstane, a few miles below Greenock, and which is also 
the boundary of a similar grant to the Burgh of Rothesay, of a 
petty criminal jurisdiction for preserving the peace of the river, 
by the punishment or correction of offences committed by seafar- 
ing persons within those bounds, the greater part of whom might 
naturally be considered as resorting to Glasgow. 

For the pursuer Lamont and the Water Bailie, it was pled that 
USAGE of very long continuance gave the Water Bailie power to 
exercise a jurisdiction to determine in this and similar causes. 

Their Lordships, after parties being fully heard, refused the 

^ Afterwards Lord Bannatyne. 


petition of Ewing, and affirmed the interlocutor ot the Lord 
Ordinary, with expenses. 

{2Tth October 1858.) 


" Mores populi, quantum mutaverint, vel hie dies indicio erit." 

•' Thou as a vesture shalt them change, 
And they shall changed be." 

So says the Psalmist ; and truly, amongst the mighty changes 
which have taken place in Glasgow since the days " o' langsyne," 
none has been more remarkable than the mode of getting through 
with our annual municipal elections. Even down to our own 
days, everything went on in a snug quiet way at the Council 
Board, and our citizens were left to guess in the dark who was to 
be lord provost, or who were to be bailies or councillors ; in fact, 
the ruling provost and his party were generally the nominators of 
those who were to receive civic honours ; and if any of our great 
bushy wigs happened to be in opposition to the leading clique of the 
board, they were punished by being elected provosts, bailies, deans 
of guild, or councillors, it being well known that those Virginian 
lords would not condescend to play a second fiddle in corporation 
matters, and of course they had to pay the fine for non-acceptance 
of office. How different is the case nowadays ! At present, all 
is bustle, hurry-burry, and restless activity among the candidates 
aspiring to the office of city councillors ; all of them are willing 
to give their services to the community scot-free, even to the 
neglect of their own business and private affairs ; the expenses of 
newspaper advertisements, of committee rooms, and of Cdb-hirings, 
being considered by them as quite beneath their notice, and as 
trifles light as air, while thus in pursuit of municipal dignity. It 
was well said by Dr. Johnson, that ''Distinction is so pleasing to 
the pride of man, that a great part of the pain and pleasure of 
life arises from the gratification or disappointment of an incessant 


wish for superiority" But perhaps it is rather stale to draw 
invidious parallels between the present times and the past ; and 
your readers may say that I should leave it to carping moralists 
to harp on this jarring chord, and to please their fancies by look- 
ing continually backwards, and condemning by retrospect what 
is presently before them. I shall therefore, without more ado, 
proceed to state a few loose facts regarding our former corporation 
affairs, commencing about the middle of the sixteenth century. 

In the disturbed period of 1559 the Council of Glasgow 
appear to have elected the provost and bailies of the city of 
Glasgow, hitherto under the nomination of the archbishops ; but 
both before and immediately after the Reformation in 1560 little 
is known in what manner the proceedings at the Council Board of 
Glasgow were conducted ; there is, however, no doubt of their 
having been managed with closed doors, in the strictest sense of 
these words, as the following passages, taken from the City Records, 
sufficiently show : — 

Burgh Records^ 4th October 1575. — "Lord Boyd having been named 
provost by the archbishop,^ and a list of eight burgesses having been presented 
to his Grace, for the purpose of naming two of them as baiUes, he selected two 
of them as bailies for the said year. These gentlemen having accepted of 
office, immediately commenced their rule by the following statute : — Item : It 
is statut and ordanit be ye provest, baillies, and counsale, yt gif ony persona 
of ye counsale happins to revele ony ying spoken or tretit in counsale, as coun- 
sale, sail be removit of ye counsale, and never in tymes cuming to be admittit 
upon ye counsale agane, bot haldin infame, and yair freedomes caUit doun.'" 

This statute was confirmed on the 3d October 1577, Thomas 
Crawford of Jordanhill being provost at the time. On the 30th 
September 1578 Archbishop Boyd appointed the Earl of Lennox 
to be lord provost of Glasgow, although the Earl was not then 
even a burgess of the city. The nomination, however, had the 
sanction of the Crown. 

On the 2d October 1578 we find the following entry in the 
Burgh Records, which shows that the appointment of the Earl of 

^ Archbishop James Boyd of Trochrigg, who obtained the archbishopric by the 
Treaty of Leith settling Episcopacy in 1572. He was the son of the Hon. Adam Boyd, 
the brother of Lord Boyd. The Lord Boyd whom the archbishop elected as provost 
was his nephew. 


Lennox to be provost did not give satisfaction to the lieges of the 
city : — • 

" The quhilk daye comparit Thomas Crawfurde, of Jordanhill, auld provest, 
and allegit yat he was put of ye counsale bot ony fait, and uncallit yairfore, 
and protestit for remeid of law, and yat ye namyng and chesing of ye counsale, 
but his or ye auld baillies' consent, preinge nocht his r>'cht, and yat ye libertie 
of ye town be nocht hurt yairby." 

The bailies also recorded their protest against the said 

From the following extract it appears that about this period 
there was no Dean of Guild Court in Glasgow, and that the bailies 
and certain members of the Town Council acted as liners when 
disputes arose between conterminous proprietors of ground re- 
garding their mutual boundaries : — 

Burgh Records, 31st May 1574. — "The quhilk day the thre baillies and 
ane parte of the counsale past to visie and decyde ye questione of lyneyng and 
nytbourheid betwixt Thomas Crawfurd, of Jordanhill, fewar of ye persone of 
Glasgwis mans, on that ane part, and Maister David Conynghame, fewar of 
ye Subdeynes mens on yat wyer part," etc. 

M'Ure, at pages 50 and 51, informs us that the parsonage of 
Glasgow manse was situated a little to the east of the Bishop's 
Castle, and that the parsonage house of the Subdean stood a little 
to the south, and opposite the church on the little brook called 
the Molendinar. 

For a considerable number of years after the last-mentioned 
period there appears to have been great irregularity regarding the 
mode of nominating the Magistrates and Council of the city, as the 
following extract shows : — 

Burgh Records, 4th October 1580. — " The Court and Conventioun of ye 
burt. and citie of Glasgw haldin ye tolbuyt. yrof in of ye 

saymyn be honobl. men, George Elphinston and Willam. Conyngha, auld 
baillies, ye auld counsale for nemyng of lytis of ye baillies yis zeir 

to cum, ye ferde [4th] daye of October, ye zeir of God J.oo.Vc. four schoir 

On this occasion the Magistrates and Council seem, in fact, to 
have elected themselves into office, as the convention of citizens 
made no objection to the election ; but it must be observed that 



in the above minute two great blanks arc left, as if the Court and 
Convention of the burgh had been ashamed to place the whole of 
their transactions on record in black and white. At this meeting 
there appears to have been a general assembly of the burgesses 
called, to act in concert with the Magistrates and Council, They 
appointed Sir Matthew Stewart of Minto to be lord provost ; and 
his partisans Hector Stewarde and John Graham as bailies, " for 
ye zeir to cum," the landed interest being then too powerful for 
the citizens. 

In 1633 the city of Glasgow was declared by Parliament to 
be a Royal Free Burgh, notwithstanding of which, down to the 
Revolution in 1688, our municipal affairs fell into the hands of 
a mercantile clique, composed of Bells, Campbells, Andersons, 
Walkinshaws, and Hamiltons, etc., who for the most part were 
connected to each other either by blood or marriage. It was 
during the reign of those provosts that our splendid Eastern and 
Western Commons were frittered away ; of which, however, their 
lordships took especial care to secure a goodly share of them to 
themselves, such as the Cowcaddens, Bell's Parks, Blythswood 
Holms, Anderson Faulds, Barrowfield Lands, Hamilton Hill, 
Stobcross, and sundry other pickings of the like kind. Whilst they 
and their partisans held the rule in the city we have little infor- 
mation regarding what passed at the Council Board, further than 
that those worthies were in the practice of electing themselves 
and their dependants into office. Dr. Cleland, at page 167 of his 
Annals, informs us that, in consequence of the Revolution, "the 
Magistrates and Council of Glasgow were elected by a poll vote of 
all the burgesses on the 2d July 1689." From this time forward 
we hear no more of the Bells of Cowcaddens or the Campbells of 
Blythswood being in office. 

I now pass over the troubled times of the rebellions of 1 7 1 5 
and 1745, and come to the year 1748, when a committee of the 
Town Council reported that by the constitution of the burgh the 
government of the city might perhaps turn out to be vested in the 
hands of particular persons longer than was for th-Q public good ; 
the Council therefore resolved, that in future two senior councillors 
of the Merchants' and Trades' ranks should annually retire from 


the Council, and should not be eligible to serve as councillors till 
three years had elapsed. In 1801, however, by an Act of the 
Convention of Royal Burghs, a Merchant and a Trades bailie were 
added to the magistracy. Such continued to be the position of 
city matters until the Reform Bill was passed in 1832. 

Mr. Crawfurd, in his interesting and valuable work, A Sketch 
of the Trades' House of Glasgoiv, says, at page 96, that in 1748 
some sleight-of-hand alterations were made upon the set of the 
burgh, and he adds : — 

" It thus appears that of the town council, composed of thirteen of the 
Merchant rank and twelve of the Trades' rank, besides the magistrates and 
the dean of guild, deacon convener, and treasurer, two of each rank retired 
annually by rotation, and that those who remained elected the successors of 
those who retired, under a sleight-of-hand management of the ^ teets' by the 
provost, who was the Great fuggler !!P\ 

Mr. Crawfurd, however, does not inform us exactly in what 
manner this legerdemain trick of the leets was performed ; and 
Dr. Cleland, though no doubt master of the subject, has been 
apparently intentionally silent as to all the hocus-pocus election 
tricks achieved at the Council Board of Glasgow whilst he was in 

During all last century it was considered as a point of honour 
that no magistrate, councillor, or city official should disclose 
what took place at the meetings of the Council Board, in conse- 
quence of which the citizens in general were kept in complete 
ignorance of every measure concocted by the provost and bailies, 
except in so far as it pleased those worthies to give information 
to the public. 

I have in my possession an old Court of Session paper, dated 
1765, regarding a lawsuit, in which the Magistrates of Glasgow 
were defenders. In the course of the proceedings in this case, 
Archibald M'Gilchrist, depute town-clerk of Glasgow, was called 
as a haver — 

"And the said Archibald M'Gilchrist being interrogate as to the practice 
and custom of the magistrates and town council of Glasgow, relative to the 
town's affairs," — it was objected that no such questions could be put to Mr. 
M'Gilchrist, he being the confidential adviser of the magistrates ; the Court, 


however, overruled the objection, and accordingly " the said Archibald 
M'Gilchrist, aged 57 years, being solemnly sworn, depones— 'That he entered to 
be an extractor in the Town Clerk's Chamber in the year 1730, and ever since 
has been particularly acquainted with the way and manner the Acts of Council 
have been passed, minuted, and recorded, as to which depones — that the con- 
stant and invariable practice ever since the said year 1730, has been, that the 
magistrates and council first resolve and agree upon what is to be done ; 
immediately after which a distinct minute of their resolutions is taken down in 
writing by the town-clerk, in presence of the magistrates and council, and 
afterwards is read in their hearing and approved of. That thereafter, and 
before the next meeting of council, the matters so minuted and approved of 
are recorded by the town-clerk in the Records of the Acts of Council ; and at 
the first meeting of council after an Act is resolved and agreed on, that Act is 
recorded from the minutes taken when the Act passed, is publicly read over 
to the magistrates and council, and they subscribe the Record thereof.' " 

Such, then, was the mode of proceeding at the meetings of 
our Council Board when the first history of Glasgow was published 
by John M'Ure, and which system, so far as I know, was con- 
tinued down to our own times. 

There is a subject regarding the election of our magistrates 
and councillors which seems to me to have escaped the notice of 
all the historians of Glasgow — at least I have searched their works 
in vain for some explicit information on this topic. I mean what 
were the penalties for our magistracy refusing to accept of office ? 
and how came known recusants to be subjected to heavy fines for 
declining to serve, while scores of our most respectable citizens 
were panting and gaping for the honour? To the best of my 
recollection, the following were the penalties which in my younger 
days could lawfully be extorted from any citizen of Glasgow for 
refusing to accept of office in the burgh : — 

1. For refusing to accept the office of Lord Provost, £so- 

2. „ „ Bailie, 40. 

3. „ „ Dean of Guild, 40. 

4. „ „ Councillor, 20. 

5. „ „ Deacon-Convr., nil. 

The crafts here seem to have been the only sapient folks at 
the Council Board, for, though legally entitled to do so, they 
exacted no penalty from any of their members who might refuse 
to accept of the convenership. I must say, however, that I never 


heard of such a thing as a craftsman refusing to be made a deacon- 

I shall now proceed to give a few examples of the above- 
mentioned fines having been rapaciously extracted from the 
purses of recusant individuals. 

Glasgow Journal^ 15th November 1764. — " Yesterday, Arthur Connell, 
merchant of this place, was chosen dean of guild, in room of Mr. James 
Simson, who refused to accept of that office." 

Dr. Cleland, at page 175 of his Annals, says in a note that 
"Peter Murdoch was elected a bailie in 1767;" but his name 
does not appear in the list of Magistrates of that year ; he of 
course must have paid the fine, as all fines for refusing to accept 
the bailieship were rigorously exacted. 

Glasgow Journal, 31st October 1776. — "Tuesday — Mr. James Sommer- 
ville,^ merchant, was chosen dean of guild, in place of Mr. Peter Murdoch, 
who has declined serving that office, he having paid his fine, being ^40 

And the very next week — viz. 7th November 1776 — the said 
journal announces that " yesterday Mr. Hugh Wyllie, merchant, 
was elected dean of guild, in place of Mr. James Sommerville, who 
was elected last week, he having declined serving, and has paid 
his fine of .^40." Here the deanship was at a sad discount, two 
deans in succession having refused the honour of being the head 
of the Merchants' House, and of a seat at the Council Board. 
Perhaps, however, after all, the exaction of those fines was only a 
shabby way of raising the supplies upon the part of the Merchants' 
House, their funds being then very low, as the following advertise- 
ment shows : — 

Glasgow Journal, 3d October 1757. — "Since the present set of the 
Merchants' House was introduced in the year 1747, the number of the matri- 
culated members who make up that House has decreased by death and other 
ways about one-third part ; it is therefore to be hoped that this loss will be 
supplied by the subscription of many of the Merchants' rank who have entered 

1 James Sommerville entered the Merchants' House in 1 771, and was the only 
entrant of that year. In 1772 there were no entrants; in 1773 there were two ; in 
1774 there was just one ; but in 1775 the number of entrants amounted to six ; so that 
there appears to have been some plotting at the time of the election in question. 


since that time, to entitle them to a share of the management of the funds of 
the House, which in that case, properly belong to them, on their pa.ymg/our 
shilli7igs sterling to the poor yearly. The book for subscription lyes at the shop of 
Messrs Scott and Brown, under the Exchange Coffee- House." {N.B. — The 
above-mentioned shop was situated in the Merchants' Land, at the north-west 
corner of the Sahmarket, opposite the present statue of King William. This 
land was taken down a few years ago, and has been replaced by the present 
large tenement.) 

Let us now proceed in our quotations. 

Glasgow Mercury^ I2th October 1780. — "On Tuesday, the 3d instant, 
the magistrates of this city were elected, when John Campbell of Clathic was 
elected lord provost ; but Mr. Campbell having declined serving in that office 
he was unanimously chosen dean of guild." "On Monday the i6th October, 
Hugh Wyllie was elected lord provost in the room of Mr. John Campbell." 

Here the Merchants' House, seeing that Mr. Campbell had 
declined the provostship, and paid his fine, no doubt wished to 
have a share of the bakes ; and jalousing that Mr. Campbell, 
having refused to accept of the higher dignity of lord provost, 
would certainly refuse the offer of the lower dignity of dean of 
guild, and thus £^0 sterling would be added to the funds of the 
Merchants' House ; but Mr. Campbell, thinking the double fine 
rather " saut" accepted of the deanship, and thereby escaped a 
second penalty. Hugh Wyllie seems to have been a very con- 
venient personage, who was willing to take the leavings of either 
the deanship or provostship as his party directed. He died on 
the 20th February 1782. 

On the 23d October 1783 Robert Findlay, the father of Robert 
Findlay, Esq., of Easterhill, was elected bailie of Glasgow, in the 
room of Henry Ritchie, who had declined serving the office of 
bailie, and had paid the fine. The following, however, is a more 
important case, and shows in black colours the extreme shabbiness 
of the Town Council and Merchants' House, which colours are 
made still darker when contrasted with the opposite conduct of 
the Trades' House, regarding their regulations as to the convener- 
ship. The object of the Merchants' House was evidently to 
pocket the fine : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 20th Jantiarj' 1780, — " On Wednesday the 12th curt., 
the Court of Session gave judgment in the following cause : — 'At Michaelmas, 


1778, Mr. Thomas Hopkirk, merchant in Glasgow, having been elected dean 
of Guild of that city, and having refused to accept of the office, the town council, 
who are the electors, decerned him to pay the sum of £40 sterling in name of 
fine. Mr. John M'Call, merchant, was next elected, and having in like manner 
declined, was fined in ^40 sterling.' Both these gentlemen presented suspen- 
sions, which, being pleaded before Lord Gardenstown, his Lordship 'suspended 
the letters siinpUciter.^ The town council reclaimed by petition to the whole 
Lords. The chargers rested their plea upon an Act of Council passed in 
1748, and ratified by the Convention of Royal Burghs, whereby it is enacted, 
' That every person who shall be elected provost, one of the bailies, dean of 
guild, deacon convener, or treasurer, shall, on his refusal or declining to accept 
any of the said offices, be fined in the sum of £i,o sterling.' The defences 
stated for the suspenders were — ist. That the decreets charged on were null 
and void, being pronounced by the town council, who have no jurisdiction. 
2d, That the town council had no power, by the set, to impose fines, and the 
Council Act, 1748, could not legally invest them with such power. 3d, That, 
by a special clause in the said Act of Council, 1748, it is provided ' That every 
person hereafter elected a councillor shall be obliged to accept of his office 
under a penalty of £10 sterling, declaring always that if any person shall 
make payment of the above fine for not accepting to be a councillor, he shall 
not again be compellable to accept of that office? That Mr. Hopkirk was 
elected a councillor in 1752, and, having refused to accept, was fined in ^20, 
which he paid accordingly ; and Mr. M'Call having been elected a councillor 
in 1769, and declining officiating, he also paid a fine of ^20. That therefore 
the suspenders must be considered as having purchased an exemption from 
serving as councillors at any future period. That the dean of guild is, ex officio, 
a councillor, subjected to the whole duties of this office as much as any 
ordinary member : and therefore the suspenders should not be obliged to 
accept of the office of dean of guild, luhich includes the office of councillor, 
agreeably to the express terms of the Act of Council, 1748, on which the 
decreets of the town council were founded, which declares, ' That if any 
person shall pay the fine of ^20 for refusing to be councillor, he shall not 
again be compellable to accept of that office.'' " 

" The suspenders, in order to obtain a judgment on the merits of the 
cause, dropt their first defence ; and, upon the second, it appeared, from the 
reasonings upon the bench, to be the opinion of the court that town councils 
have an inherent power at common law to inflict moderate fines on the 
burgesses refusing to accept of the offices, in the duty of exercising which all 
the members of the community are bound to bear a share. Ir^ considering 
the third point, the Lords were unanimously of opinion that the suspenders, 
by having formerly fined off when elected councillors, could not, upon a fair 
construction of the Act of Council, 1748, be again fined for refusing to act in 
the office of dean of guild, who must, ex officio, act as a member of the town 
council, and therefore ' adhered to Lord Gardenstown's interlocutors.' " 

Some further particulars of this curious case arc to be found 


in the Faculty Collections, 13th January 1780, and are as 
follows : — 

" James Hill v. Thomas Hopkirk and John M'Call. — By the regulations 
enacted in 1748 by the town council, and likewise recorded in the books of 
council, only four councillors are to be changed every year, according to their 
seniority: but the dean of guild and deacon -convener must continue for one 
year after the expiiy of their respective offices, and ever afterwards to be removed 
in rotation with the other members of the council. By these regulations it 
was further provided that every person elected, or continued as councillor, 
should be obliged to accept or continue in office under a penalty of ^20, to 
be paid to the collector for the poor of the Merchants' House. After this he 
could not be required to undertake that office. In the same manner, every 
person elected dean of guild was obliged to accept, under a penalty of ^40. 
Soon after these regulations were made, Mr. Hopkirk and Mr. M'Call had 
been elected councillors, and paid their fines for non-acceptance. In 1778 they 
were, one after another, elected deans of guild, and, refusing to accept, were fined 
each in /40. The question chiefly agitated was the legality of the regulations 
of 1748, which introduced a considerable change in the set, and imposed fines 
on persons declining offices in the burgh. The Lords found, ' in respect of 
the special circumstances of the case, particularly that the suspenders formerly 
fined off when elected into office as councillors, and paid that fine of ^20 
sterling each, that they could not be of new fined for refusing to accept of or 
act in the office of the dean of guild, who, ex officio, must act likewise as a 
member of council, and therefore suspend the letters siinplidter.' " 

In this action the Town Council of Glasgow appear as 
chargers; but the James Hill mentioned in the Faculty Collections 
as conducting the case in Court was the law-agent of the Mer- 
chants' House, and the fines, if recovered, would have gone into the 
coffers of the said House, Altogether the affair looks wonderfully 
like a conspiracy between the Merchants' House and the Town 
Council of Glasgow to filch a few pounds from the pockets of 
gentlemen who, they well knew beforehand, would not accept of 
office, while at the same time they were perfectly aware that there 
were scores of equally respectable citizens not only willing but 
most anxious to serve the office in question, solely on account of 
it conferring distinction and dignity. The case certainly showed 
a gross abuse of power and greed of pelf We must remark, 
however, from the report of the foregoing cases, that at this time 
the members of the Merchants' House did not possess, or did not 
exercise, the right of electing their deans of guild. When John 


Campbell of Clathic was elected provost in 1780, and refused to 
serve, the Town Council immediately after he had declined the 
said office, and at the same sederunt, " unanimously chose him 
dean of guild." Again, in the report of the case of Hopkirk and 
M'Call it is expressly stated that those gentlemen were elected 
deans of guild by the Town Council of the city, " who are the 
electors." In this state of matters it may easily be seen that the 
lord provost of Glasgow of that period possessed great influence 
and power, not only at the Council Board, but over the citizens 
in general, whom he and his party could either favour or annoy 
by getting them elected into office in the burgh. Tempora 

{^th February i860.) 


At no period of its history was Glasgow ever more prosperous 
than at the time immediately previous to the breaking out of the 
American War of Independence. The tobacco trade, the estab- 
lished emporium or staple of Glasgow commerce, was then at its 
acme, and her lordly Virginian merchants were freely distributing 
their wealth by the erection of princely dwellings in the favourite 
localities of the city, some of which remain to this day as orna- 
ments to our ancient burgh boundaries. Denholm, page 82, says 
(1775): — 

" The public works themselves sufficiently demonstrate the wealth and 
prosperity of Glasgow at this period. In this year Glasgow employed upwards 
of sixty thousand tons of shipping, having in a single article of tobacco im- 
ported from America the amazing quantity of fifty-seven thousand one hundred 
and forty-three hogsheads." 

This was more than one-half of all the tobacco imported into 
Great Britain in 1775. 
Denholm also states — 

" Great inconvenience havmg been found to arise to the inhabitants at large 
from the high price of coals, a scheme was set on foot and adopted, for cutting 
a navigable canal from the high grounds at the back of the Cathedral Church 


to the parish of Monkland, with the view of lessening the price of that article, 
by bringing it at once to the town in larger quantities and at a cheaper rate 
than formerly." 

That this step was necessary sufficiently appears from the 
annexed advertisement : — 

Glasgow Journal, 20th July 1775. — "At a meeting of the following coal- 
masters — James Buchanan, lord provost, Colin Dunlop & Son, James & 
Andrew Gray, John & Matthew Orr, James M'Nair & Co., Archibald SmelHe 
& Son, John Ferrie & Richard Cameron — it was resolved that, from and after 
the I 5th of August next, they will sell no coals from any of the works they 
are respectively concerned in but for ready-vtoney only." 

"1776, June 13th. — As John & Matthew Orr intend for the future to lead a 
great part of their coals with their own horses and carts, they will be very much 
obliged to their customers to send their orders to the Camlachie coal office." 

The following notice will show that the operatives of Glasgov/ 
were, at the period first mentioned, in full employment, and were 
then receiving high wages : — 

Weekly Magazine, Edinburgh, 14th April 1775. — " Extract of a letter from 
Glasgow — 'Trade has not been so brisk in this place for many years bygone 
as it is at present — not a single hand unemployed ; weavers' wages all raised, 
and ten, fifteen, and twenty shillings given as a premium to engage them.'" 

The money market appears likewise to have been glutted 
in 1775. 

Scots Magazine, Edinburgh, December 1775. — "Since February last our 
banks give only 3 per cent, on money lent them for a full year, and but 7.\ per 
cent, if lent only for six months." 

"Edinburgh, 23d July 1776. — On Tuesday last some shares in the Royal 
Bank here sold at the rate of ^215, which is ^^14 higher than ever was paid 
before, owing to the great plenty of money now in circle. It is estimated that 
there is above half a million sterling at present lent out in Edinburgh at 3 per 
cent., and more money ready to be lent on land security than ever was known 
in Scotland at any former period." 

Glasgow Journal, 30th November 1775. — "Notice. — Messrs Dunlop, 
Houston, & Co., bankers in Glasgow, desire those who have money lodged 
with them at 4 per cent, that they would call at their office as soon as possible 
to receive payment." 

It further appears that at this juncture oatmeal was so very 
plentiful that the sheriff of Lanarkshire prohibited any importation 
of it into Glasgow. 


Glasgow Journal, 13th February 1775. — "By the determination of the 
sheriff, the ports of this county (Lanarkshire) are shut against the importation 
of oats and oatmeal." 

It must not be forgotten that in this year (1775) the following 
Act of Parliament was passed regarding an invention which has 
made a greater change in Glasgow than even Arkwright's cele- 
brated discovery of spinning yarn by machinery. The title is — "An 
Act for investing in James Watt, engineer, his executors, adminis- 
trators, and assigns, the sole use and property of certain steam 
engines, commonly called ' Fire Engines,' of his invention, de- 
scribed in the said Act, throughout his Majesty's dominions, for a 
limited time." At the period in question there were no cotton 
mills in Scotland, the first mill there having been erected in 
Rothesay by an English company in 1778. It was about two 
years after this that David Dale commenced erecting the Lanark 
Cotton Mills. The mill which was first built was accidentally 
burned to the ground a few weeks after it had begun to produce 
spun yarn ; but it was speedily reconstructed, and the manufacture 
proceeded successfully. 

In my younger days the principal cotton broker in Glasgow 
was Mrs. Mary Brown. Her husband was a shoemaker, in pretty 
extensive business. At his death Mary was at a loss how to 
dispose of his shoes and leather to advantage, and accordingly 
applied to David Dale for his advice on the occasion. Mr. Dale 
advised her to work up the raw materials of her husband's stock 
into shoes suitable for the West India market, and then to consign 
the whole to a respectable West India house for sale in the West 
Indies. Mary, however, said that this was too great a venture for 
her to engage in ; but Mr. Dale told her that if she was pleased 
with the proposal, he would run halves in the adventure. Mary 
at once jumped to the offer, and accordingly, the whole of Mr. 
Brown's finished stock was shipped to the West Indies, upon joint 
account, with instructions that the produce of the sales should be 
remitted in cotton. When the cotton arrived Mr. Dale proposed 
to put it into the hands of a cotton broker for sale ; but Mary did 
not approve of this plan, saying that she would sell it herself, and 
thereby save the broker's commission. Mary was very successful 


in selling the cotton at a good price, and immediately thereafter 
she commenced the business of a cotton broker. 

I have seen Mary bustling about, with a large leather pocket 
at her side, containing samples of cotton, ready to show to any 
spinner or speculator whom she might meet. She thought no- 
thing of bargaining offhand for thousands of pounds. Mary did 
not care for the company of ladies, or to talk about flounces, tucks, 
bowknots, trimmings, skirts, or edgings ; but preferred the com- 
pany of gentlemen, and to discourse with them upon the merits 
of the long and short staple, of Surats, Surinams, Pernams, Sea 
Islands, and Bowed Georgias. Mary was really a remarkable 
person, and I believe that she passed more money through her 
hands than any woman in Scotland ever did. Had she confined 
herself solely to her business of a cotton broker, she would in all 
probability have acquired a large fortune ; but she most unluckily 
became an extensive speculator in cotton upon her own account, 
and the notice below will show the result. 

Edinburgh Gazette, 15th March 1794. — "Sequestration. — Mary Brown, 
cotton dealer in Glasgow. Creditors to meet in Claud Currie's, vintner there, 
27th current, at noon, to name a factor, and at same place and hour, i8th 
April, to chuse a trustee." 

1 1 think that the following letter will be perused with interest 
by all your septuagenarian readers. It was addressed to me by 
a very old acquaintance, Mr. John Aitcheson, who died in August 
last, in the ninetieth year of his age : — 

"Glasgow, 2d Feb., 1855. 
" My dear Sir — Many thanks for your kind letter and tree of the old 
respectable family. I do not recollect any cotton brokers in our auld town, 
excepting Messrs. J. & G. Buchanan & Co., that is, previous to 1792. My 
old friend, Mrs. Mary Brown, was a direct buyer from the importers ; and 
sometimes we — that is, Archd. Calder & Co., and Jo. Aitcheson & Co.- — used 
to join with her in purchasing cotton from Messrs. Leitch & Smith, and we 
also joined in buying cotton with my old friend, the late Mr. John Bartholo- 
mew, direct from the importer. Mr. Andrew Templeton, being a lodger with 
Mrs. Brown when he was clerk with Messrs. Duguid, the sugar refiners, joined 
Mrs. Brown, and their firm was Maiy Brown & Co., and afterwards Templeton, 
Jamieson, & Co., about the years 1798 and 1799. Archibald Sorely, for a 
short time, acted as broker, but became an extensive cotton speculator attd dealer 
in 1799, and failed for a large sum. He afterwards joined a Mr. Smith, as 


brokers, and the business continued under the firm of Sorely & Smith, and 
continued for some time afterwards under the firm of Smith and Brown, and 
latterly under the name of John Brown (alias Cotton Jock). He was unfortun- 
ate some time ago, but got settled, and for several years has a bonded store, 
and keeps horses and carts, and I believe he is doing well. In 1799, when Mr. 
Owen purchased the Lanark Mills, Mr. Kelly commenced cotton broker and 
a cotton spinner ; his partner, I think, was Mr. William Aitken (of Gilbert 
Shearer & Co.). The mill was near Blackburn, but it was a losing concern. 
Mr. Kelly was trustee in the Rothesay Spinning Co. ; he afterwards purchased 
the mill, but it was a bad business. Mr. Kelly's son carries on as cotton 
broker at present, and his partner is Mr. Hannay, brother-in-law to Mr. James 
Scott of Kelly. James Donaldson was partner in the firm of Robertson & Co., 
extensive muslin manufacturers ; he left that concern, and, along with James 
Kibble and Matthew Robertson, both from Paisley, purchased the mill built by 
Mr. James Robertson (my father-in-law) at Milngavie. This was at a public 
sale, and my father-in-law, old Mr. Robertson of Mill Bank, and my friend, 
Charles Bennet, of Manchester, opposed them. It was not on a large scale, 
and only fetched ^3500. I rather think old Mr. Robertson was to have had 
a share, as his partner, along with Charles Bennet and old Robert Thompson, 
grandfather to the present Mr. N. Thompson of Camphill. Mr. Donaldson 
was very unfortunate as a spinner at Milngavie, but Mr. Dun and some other 
friends, after his misfortune, patronised him as a cotton broker. I don't know 
who the company of James Donaldson are who carry on the cotton business 
under that firm at present. You, no doubt, recollect the extensive firm in the 
cotton trade of Sharp & Mackenzie, but they were regular dealers and also 
manufacturers. The cold is so very severe, I am afraid you can scarcely read 
this short note. — Yours faithfully, John Aitcheson." 

^^P.S. — Pray, were you a full Private in the squad that met in the Session 
House and yard of the Chapel of Ease, along with Gavin Horn (son of Wm. 
Horn, who built Horn's Court and Glassford Street), when Archy Paterson 
was Fifer, and I also acted with him in that time ? We were drilled by Sergt. 
M'Intosh of the 42d. This was in 1793, previous to our joining the first 
Regiment of Volunteers. You, I recollect, joined the Cavalry about the time 
when Archy joined the Volunteers." 

{2Z,th February i860.) 


In that house (viz. at the north-west corner of Bell Street) Mr. 
John Alston resided, and I believe that there George Douglas and\ 
Provost John Alston were born. James M'Kenzie, the father of 
Provost M'Kenzie, also resided in that tenement. He is thus 


described by his son, the provost, in the roll of the Merchants' 
House, when the provost entered as a member of the said House : 
— "1788. — December 26th. — James M'Kenzie, son of James 
M'Kenzie, teacher, Glasgow." I remember this old gentleman 
when he was teacher in Hutcheson's Hospital, then situated in the 
Trongate. He was highly respected, and associated with the 
wealthiest of our citizens. He was not known, however, by the 
name of M'Kenzie, but was called M'Keengie, for in those days 
there were no M'Ketizies in Glasgow ; they were all M'Keengies. 

The whole of the new town from St. David's Church west- 
wards has been erected in my day. The following notice shows 
the commencement of this great change : — 

" ^nii Ju"^ 5th- — Notice. — That the magistrates and council of Glasgow 
have resolved to open a street 70 feet broad, in a straight line from Queen 
Street through the west part of the Ramshorn ground, belonging to the city, 
and to sell the ground on each side of the said intended street, in steadings 
for erecting buildings thereon. As also to set the north-westmost plot of the 
said Ramshorn ground, consisting of 8129 yards, lying next to, and above the 
termination of the said intended street, conform to a plan in the hands of the 
town-clerks of Glasgow. Any person inclining to purchase the above-mentioned 
grounds may give in their proposals to the said clerks, who will immediately 
communicate them to the magistrates and council. Also, those eleven acres 
of ground, or thereby, belonging to the city, lying on the east side of the road 
belonging to Mr. Peter Bell, of Cowcaddens, leading from the road to Wishart's 
house to Bell's Haugh, is to set in tack for 19 years, by public roup, within 
the clerk's chambers, on the nth day of June current, the purchaser's entry 
to commence immediately after the roup ; and the articles of roup to be seen 
in the hands of the town-clerks. N.B. — Some dung, belonging to the City 
of Glasgow, lying near the place where the Gallowgate Toll Bar lately stood 
(near the Saracen's Head Inn), is to be sold by roup, time and place as above." 

" ^llli 19th June. — Notice. — That the roup of the north-westmost plot of 
Ramshorn ground being adjourned to Friday the 20th of June current, the 
said plot will be sold, by public roup, between the hours of twelve and two 
o'clock of that day, in the clerk's chambers, and will be set up at 2s 6d each 
square yard. A plan of the ground, with the articles of roup, may be seen in 
the hands of the town-clerks." 

This roup took place immediately before William Cuninghame 
began to erect his spacious house, now the Royal Exchange. 
When Mr. Cuninghame was building the said house in 1778 I 
visited it, for it was a wonder and a show to all the citizens of 
Glasgow, the cost of it being ;^ 10,000. 


No part of our city in my day has undergone a greater 
change than the Cross of Glasgow ; for, with the exception of the 
old steeple, it , has been completely renovated. But, alas! the 
warblings of the music bells, and the nice promenade under the 
pillars in the Trongate and Saltmarket, long the pride and boast 
of Glasgow, are now the tales of bygone times. The first great 
change in this part of Glasgow was the erection of the Tontine 
and its reading-room in 1781. I remember of playing in the 
foundation of the present reading-room while the excavations were 
going on by the workmen, and before a single stone of this 
elegant room had been laid. In the course of making these ex- 
cavations an ancient canoe was found, as more particularly 
alluded to by our eminent antiquary John Buchanan, Esquire. I 
subscribed to the coffee-room for more than sixty years, and I 
never come to Glasgow without paying it a visit for " auld lang 
syne." When I first subscribed it was really a coffee-room, nicely 
fitted up with boxes, where parties could adjourn and enjoy their 
beverage in quietness, piping hot from Mr. Smart's kitchen upstairs. 

A French philosopher has said — " I would not choose to see 
an old post pulled up with which I had been long acquainted." 
And Dr. Goldsmith thus elegantly writes — "A mind long habit- 
uated to a certain set of objects insensibly becomes fond of seeing 
or speaking of them ; visits them frequently from habit, and parts 
with them with reluctance. From whence proceeds the care of the 
old, in every kind of possession? They love the world, and all that 
it produces ; they love life, and all its advantages — NOT because 
it gives them pleasure, BUT because they have known it LONG." 

In the Glasgoiv Mcrciuy of 29th March 1781 we have the 
following : — 

" Notice. — The subscription for the Tontine Coffee-house will continue 
open till the 1 3th of May next, and no longer. Those who choose to subscribe, 
may apply to John Maxwell, jun., writer, who is empowered to receive the 
subscriptions of all who may wish to promote the scheme. In consequence of 
a resolution of the subscribers, at their general meeting, held on the 20th of 
March current, all persons interested in the Tontine scheme are requested, on 
or before the i 5th of May next, to lodge with Mr. Maxwell a note specifying 
the name of the person on the duration of whose life their interest in the 
scheme is to depend. If this is not complied with, the subscriber's own life, or 


the person's already named, where that is the case, will be considered as the 
life to be engrossed in the deeds." 

The shares were £$o each, but any subscriber was at Hberty 
to take two shares, but no more. There were 107 subscribers to 
this scheme, very few of whom took two shares. A very interest- 
ing list of the said subscribers, and the names of the parties on 
whose Hves their interest in the Tontine depended, was pubHshed 
by me in the Glasgow Herald of the 8th and 15th of March 
1852, to which reference is made. 

Of the 107 subscribers, and of the parties on the durability of 
whose lives their interest in the scheme depended, the last survivor 
was Miss Cecilia Douglas (sister of the late Sir Neil Douglas), 
afterwards Mrs. Gilbert Douglas of Orbiston. She died on the 
25th of July 1 862, in the ninety-first year of her age. Two shares 
were taken on her life, viz. — 

I st Nominator — Alexander M'Caul, merchant in Glasgow, one 
share, upon the life of Cecilia Douglas, daughter of John Douglas, 
merchant in Glasgow. 

2d Nominator — William Douglas, merchant in Glasgow, one 
share, upon the life of Cecilia Douglas, daughter of John Douglas, 
merchant in Glasgow. 

Before the Assembly Room in connection with the Tontine 
Buildings was erected, our assemblies and public concerts were 
usually held in the Bridgegate Hall ; and I believe that the 
following notice shows the date of the last dancing assembly 
which was held in the Bridgegate Hall : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 5th October 1780. — "Assembly. There is to be a 
dancing assembly on Friday first, the 6th instant, in the Merchants' Hall, 
Bridgegate. Tickets for ladies and gentlemen, to be had at Mr. Aird's music 
shop, 25 6d each." 

Mr. Aird's music shop is now occupied by Mr. Campbell 
Blair, as an extensive grocery establishment ; but the place has 
been wonderfully improved since the time of Mr. Aird. He was 
at the date in question the principal music -dealer in Glasgow, 
and his little shop was situated at the corner of the Back Wynd. 

The following notice shows us that the New Assembly Room 
in connection with the Tontine was then in progress of erection : — 


Glasgow Mercury, 2d November 1780. — "Subscription Concert. The 
managers of the subscription concert for the ensuing winter beg leave to 
acquaint those ladies and gentlemen who have honoured them with their 
subscription, that on account of the Assembly Hall not being ready, the first 
concert will be held in the Merchants' Hall, in the Bridgegate, on Wednesday 
next, being the 8th of November. The concert will begin precisely at seven 
o'clock. Subscriptions taken in at Messrs. Dunlop & Wilson's; at the Ton- 
tine Coffee-house ; at Mr. Heron's, sign of the Black Bull ; at Mr. Buchanan's, 
Saracen's Head ; and by Messrs. Dasti, Wilson, and Reinagle, at their 

The Tontine Coffee-house here alluded to most likely was 
then situated in the tenement at the north-west comer of the 
Saltmarket, as the present Tontine Coffee-house was not built till 
1 78 1. I never could learn any particulars regarding this old 
Tontine Coffee-house, which I think could not have had any 
dependence upon the durability of the lives of those interested, as 
it appears to have been sold by public roup. With regard to the 
old Gaol and ancient Court-house, they have been superseded by 
the building erected on their site, by Dr. Cleland, about the year 

I feel at a loss to say whereabouts the Tontine Coffee-house 
in Argyll Street was situated which is mentioned in the follow- 
ing advertisement ; and I am inclined to think that the word 
"Tontine" was frequently applied at that time to coffee-houses 
which had no title to assume the name of " Tontine." 

Glasgow Mercury, 30th November 1780. — "To be exposed to sale, by 
public roup, upon Wednesday the 13th of December, 1780, within the 
Exchange Tavern in Glasgow, at one o'clock mid-day, the Tontine Coffee-house 
in Arg>'ll Street, Glasgow, as presently possessed by Mr. Matthew Pool, con- 
sisting of seven rooms, light closet, and other conveniences ; a very com- 
modious large kitchen, larder, and cellars below stairs, and three garret rooms, 
and pertinents. The price to be paid, and the purchaser to enter to the 
premises at Whitsunday next." 

And again — 

2ist December 1780. — "Tontine Tavern. For sale, by auction, on 
Thursday the 4th of January 1781, at 11 o'clock forenoon, the whole standing 
furniture of the Tontine Tavern, all of elegant fashions and in good order ; 
likewise the stock on hand of exceeding old wines, of a fine flavour, and 
excellent London porter. N.B. — The gentlemen, subscribers to the coffee- 
house, are desired to meet there to-morrow, the 22d instant, at 12 o'clock, 
upon business." 



The word " Tontine," as is well known, means a life annuity 
with benefit of survivorship, and was so called from the inventor, 
Laurence Tonti, an Italian. In 1689, the first Tontine scheme 
was set on foot in France, but it was executed very imperfectly, 
in consequence of which, another scheme of the same kind was 
projected about the year 1726, when the two schemes were 
united, — all the actions of both of which schemes came to be 
possessed by Charlotte Bonnemay, who died at the age of ninety- 
six. She had ventured about £1$ in each scheme, and in the 
last year of her life she came into possession of £2,600 a year for 
her ^30. 

I must now take a glance at the opposite corner of the Cross 
— namely, the north-west corner of Saltmarket and Trongate. 
Here was situated of old a very handsome tenement belonging 
to the Merchants' House of Glasgow, as the following notice 
shows : — 

GlasgoTx' Journal, 14th August 1766. — "That all and whole that first 
storie of that great tenement of land, sometime belonging to the Merchants' 
House in Glasgow, lying within the burgh of Glasgow, fronting to both these 
streets called the Saltmarket and Trongate Streets of Glasgow, together with 
two Cellars (formerly three) immediately under the first storie, next to the 
staircase of the said tenement, and houff under the said Turnpike, and a piece 
of waste ground adjoining to the houff under the said turnpike, with the shade 
above, together with the middenstead of the said land, and benefit of the dung 
or fuilzie thereof, is to be exposed to sale by voluntary public roup, upon 
Tuesday, the fourth day of Novenaber next to come, within a vacant apart- 
ment of the said storie. 

<^ N.B. — The said first storie may be commodiously possessed as a Public 

The articles and conditions of the roup, etc. — 

♦' Any person intending to make a private purchase of the premises may 
apply to Messrs. Arthur Connel, Alexand. Campbell, and George Buchanan, 
merchants in Glasgow." 

At this date Provost Connel, the father of Sir John Connel, 
and David and James Connel, lived in the third storey of a house 
situated on the south side of Bell's Wynd, which is thus described 
— " 1766. — The third storie is possessed by Mr. Connel, dean of 
guild, consisting of four rooms, a kitchen, and two garret rooms." 



So much for primitive times. Mr. Connel afterwards acquired 
Eroch Bank, comprising a mansion-house and three and a half 
acres Scots of land. 

The celebrated printers, the Messrs. Foulis, had their place of 
business in the Merchants' House Land. 

"November 17th, 1755. — To be set, just now, these two Rooms in the 
Old Coffee House, which front the Sahmarket Street, the one of which is 
at present possessed by Messrs. Glen and Peter, and the other by Messrs. 

Journal, 2d May 1757. — "Upon the 3d of May instant, within one of the 
rooms of the corner land betwixt the Sahmarket and Trongate Streets of the 
first storie, forming the Old Coffee House, will be sold, by way of auction, 
for ready money only, to the highest bidder, a large assortment of Tea and 
Table China, Glass, and Stone ware, &c." 

There is a good view of the old Merchants' House Land in 
Stuart's Views of Glasgoiv, page 80, with a perspective of the 
pillars under the houses of the south side of the Trongate, west- 
ward to the Tron Steeple. On the third and fourth floors there 
was a curious projection overhanging the corner of the street, in 
which there were two windows to each of the little closets which 
led off from the dining-rooms of the respective floors. In my 
boyish days the third floor of this tenement was occupied by 
David Crawford, Esq., who so long filled the honorary office of 
Preceptor to the Town's Hospital. This gentleman being a 
relation, I had free access to the little closet in question upon the 
great occasions — of the King's birthday ; of the Lords of Justi- 
ciary walking in procession to the Court House, attended by the 
Magistrates, and preceded by the red -coat officers with their 
halberts ; of the whippings and hangings at the Cross ; and from 
the said little windows I beheld MTver, M'Callum, and Herdman 
stand in the pillory in 1784, probably the last exhibition of the 
kind that will ever take place in Glasgow. 

Mr. Crawford married a daughter of Mr. William Horn, who 
built Glassford Street, Horn's Court, and numerous edifices in 
Glasgow. There were two daughters of the marriage, who died 
in their teens of that sad complaint consumption, and as all Mr. 
Horn's estates had been settled on them, these estates at their 
death passed to a distant relation of Mr. Horn in Stirling. 


The north-east corner of the Saltmarket at the Cross was 
occupied in my early days by the Trades' Lands, which were 
pretty extensive both in the Satmarket and in the Gallowgate. 

Journal, loth July 1766. — "That the little laigh fore shop or booth, lying 
on the north side of the close leading from the Saltmarket, haill houses, 
cellars, garrets, middenstead, and lands in the closs, high and laigh, all 
commonly called the ' Trades' Land,' lying near the Market Cross of Glasgow, 
and a great part of which lands are very commodious for Warehouses, are to 
be exposed to public roup and sale, in different lots and parcels, within the 
house of Mrs. Armour, at the Cross, &c." 

Glasgow Journal, 4th October 1764. — "To be sold by public roup, on 
the 7th November next, All and Haill that high fore shop and laigh one, lying 
under that great tenement of land belonging to the Town of Glasgow, being 
the corner land betwixt the Gallowgate, and above the Cross, and which fore 
shop is the one next the Cross, presently possessed by Andrew Carrick, 

" The conditions of roup and progress of writs are to be seen in the hands 
of Peter Paterson, writer in Glasgow." 

(A^;^. — Purchased by David Allan, and afterwards by John M'Intyre and 

The burning of the Long Stairs in 1792, and subsequent 
erections on their site, made a great change in the appearance of 
the city of Glasgow at the Cross, for these stairs were very curious 
and antique in their structure, and gave a venerable look to the 
place ; but they were very far from being an ornament to the 
locality, and their destruction was lamented by none of our 
citizens, except by those who were directly interested in their 

Thomas Buchanan, Esq., the father of the late John Buchanan, 
Esq., of Ardoch, had his place of business in the first iloor of the 
Trades' Land, at the north corner of it. He was the most exten- 
sive hat manufacturer in Glasgow of his day, and, from the following 
notice, he perhaps was also the best maker of hats in the city : — 

Scois Magazine, 1757, page 49. — " Edinburgh, January 22, 1757. — The 
Edinburgh Society for Encouragement of Arts, Sciences, and Manufactures, 
think it their duty to acquaint the public that the premiums proposed by the 
society for the year 1756, have been adjudged in the following manner: — 

"For the best dozen of hats. Four Guineas, to Thomas Buchanan, 
Junior, and Company, at Glasgow. 

" N.B. — These gentlemen appointed the premium adjudged to them to be 
applied as a premium for the best dozen of felt hats for the year 1757." 


Our townsman, Thomas Dunlop Douglas, Esq., commenced 
his mercantile career with the Messrs. Buchanan, of the Trades' 

One of our Glasgow characters, Peter Paterson, writer, alias 
" Pawkie Pate," had his writing office in the Trades' Land. I 
remember him when he was a clerk with John Wilson junior, the 
town-clerk of Glasgow, and he was then considered a shrewd, 
clever fellow, which he abundantly proved in his after life. To 
the best of my recollection, William Watson, Esq., the father of 
the Faculty of the Glasgow Procurators, was then an apprentice 
with Clerk Wilson, at the foot of the Saltmarket ; or if he did 
not sit at the same desk with Pawkie Pate, he must have handled 
the quill there very soon after Pawkie Pate had commenced 
business for himself. 

By far the most important change, however, which has taken 
place at the Cross of Glasgow was the demolition of the Trades' 
Land and contiguous tenements, and the opening up of London 
Street — an alteration of so great magnitude that the Cross of 
Glasgow would scarcely be known to our grandfathers, were they 
to come back now and take a look at the place. The cost of the 
ground paid for that part of London Street which opens into 
Saltmarket Street was no less than ;^50 per square yard — perhaps 
the highest price ever paid for ground in Glasgow. At the time 
when London Street was projected it was illegal to sell property 
by way of public lottery, but the directors of this joint- stock 
company got over this difficulty by making it a private drawing 
of chances among the subscribers themselves. In Parliament 
this was considered an evasion of the Lottery Act, and the direc- 
tors were threatened with an action for transgressing the law ; 
but as the improvement was represented as being so beneficial, 
and so important for the city of Glasgow, the members of Parlia- 
ment who denounced the scheme as a direct evasion of the 
Lottery Act were induced to withdraw their opposition, upon the 
express understanding that this was not in future to be considered 
as a precedent. 

Now let us take a look at the remaining corner at the Cross 
of olden time. The ancient tenement at the south-east corner of 


the High Street and Gallowgate, which had so long withstood 
the ruthless hand of change, has lately undergone the fate of its 
fellow-corners, and has been demolished to make room for a new 
and elegant structure. In my early days the corner shop of this 
old tenement was a small and dismal apartment under the pillars, 
and was occupied by David Allan, for the sale of duffles, flannels, 
blankets, linens, fustians, drugget, harns, durants, and a variety of 
woollen stuffs. After Mr. Allan's death his widow continued the 
business and attended to the affairs of the shop, which throve 
greatly under her management. I think it was late in Mrs. Allan's 
life before Mr. John M'Intyre took the principal charge of the 
establishment. At the death of Mrs. Allan, her daughter. Miss 
Betty Allan, succeeded not only to the said business, but also to 
a respectable competency, in consequence of which she did not 
attend the shop as her mother had done, but assumed Mr. 
M'Intyre as the managing partner, under whose energetic direc- 
tion the business rapidly increased. The little dark shop was 
extended in size, by the addition to it of the space under the 
pillars, and it then had a light and cheerful look. After the death 
of Miss Betty, Mr. John MTntyre became the sole partner of the 
concern, which still increased in the magnitude of its dealings, 
under his able exertions. He soon required more space to show 
off his valuable stock of goods, which now consisted of all the 
costly articles of a first-rate haberdashery establishment. The 
first storey of the said tenement about that time was occupied 
as the printing premises of the Glasgoiv Courier newspaper, and 
when the Courier office was removed, Mr. MTntyre took this flat, 
and by an inside stair connected it with the ground floor. This 
addition to the shop, however, continued still too small for Mr. 
MTntyre's rapidly-increasing business, so that he from time to 
time enlarged his premises, by adding one flat after another to 
the original tenement, until Mr. MTntyre became the sole pro- 
prietor of the corner land at the Cross of Glasgow, so well known 
in the city by the name of " John MTntyre's shop in the Gallow- 
gate." The firm of John MTntyre and Company have lately 
built new and very extensive premises in Argyll Street, nearly 
opposite to Queen Street, at the cost of ;^2 6,000. 


Although the four corners of the Cross of Glasgow have thus 
been changed and renovated, we have still our old friend King 
William, remaining to keep us in remembrance of olden times ; 
and on this subject I can only repeat what I said about ten years 
ago regarding this venerable relic of bygone days : — 

" I believe that there are few of our aged citizens who do not feel a certain 
undefined regard for the statue of King William, and can never look up to it 
without the idea flashing upon their minds, that they are beholding an old and 
intimate friend. I must confess that I never return from a long journey 
without being delighted when passing the Cross to see my ancient acquaint- 
ance, with his bare toes and baton frappant, still gracing our old Exchange. 
What a multitude of by-gone events does this statute bring to mind of an 
aged citizen !" 

In the Glasgow Mercury oi 2d February 1781, we find the 
following notice regarding the statue of King William : — 

" Yesterday se'ennight, a young man, disordered in his mind by intemper- 
ance, got upon the pedestal on which the equestrian statue of King William 
stands and mounted the horse, when his phrenzy led him to cut off the laurel 
with which the statue was crowned, and otherwise maltrait it. What is 
surprising, he got up and down without receiving any hurt. He is since 
confined in the cells." 

From the following extract, it appears that in 1766 there was 
a garden in the Trongate of Glasgow, and that the Stamp Office 
was situated at the Exchange : — 

Glasgow Journal, i6th January 1766. — "The garden at the head of Mr. 
William Anderson's tenement, and Closs of houses in Trongate, to be sold off 
within the Stamp Office, at the Exchange, in Glasgow, upon Tuesday the 
2 1st inst., precisely at 12 o'clock; to be sold in whole or in parcels, — entry 
at Candlemass. — Apply to Jas, Graham, writer." 


(i2th May i860.) 


" Say not unto thy neighbour * Go, and come again, and I will give,' when 
thou hast it by thee." 

As it has been said that there are no two human faces exactly- 
alike, so also it has been asserted that there is no individual of any 
mettle who does not possess a certain odd cast of mind, some 
peculiar hobby, or more or less of a maggoty fancy, which dis- 
tinguishes him from his neighbour. In some persons, however, 
the shade of difference is but weak and feeble, and so they pass 
through life without comment or remark ; while in others the 
variance is so manifest and striking that they obtain the name of 
" eccentrics " or " originals," and amongst this latter class I must 
place Captain David Peter of Crossbasket,^ the justice of which 
location will be sufficiently shown by the following narrative : — 

In the year 1775 a dispute arose between Captain Peter of 
Crossbasket and Mr. James Tennant of Annfield, regarding the 
possession of a sword which the Captain had borrowed from Mr. 
Harry Horseburgh, a merchant in Glasgow, and which sword 
Captain Peter alleged had been stolen from him by Mr. Tennant. 
As in cases of this kind there are generally two ways of telling a 
story, I shall give the statement of both of these gentlemen, as to 
the manner in which the dispute arose. I begin with that of Mr. 
Tennant of Annfield.^ 

1 To the best of my recollection the first wife of John Gordon, Esq., of Aikenhead, 
was Miss Peter of Crossbasket. Glasgow Mercury, 20th February 1788 — " Friday last 
died Mrs. Margaret Peter, spouse of John Gordon, Esq., merchant in this city." John 
Gordon's father, Alexander Gordon, was bailie of Glasgow in 1772 and 1775. In 1758 
Thomas Peter of Crossbasket, the father of Captain Peter, besides his mansion at Cross- 
basket, had a dwelling in Wilkinshaw's Close, in the Saltmarket of Glasgow. He was 
dean of guild in 1707 and 1708, and bailie of Glasgow in 1712. 

'^ In 1758 Annfield belonged to Adam Tennant, tobacconist, the father of James 
Tennant. It then consisted of 8 acres of garden ground (let to Archibald M'Kenzie, 


In the year 1776, or thereby, Captain Peter, being about to 
take a trip to Lisbon on board of a ship then lying at Greenock, 
and bound for that port, borrowed a sword from Mr. Harry 
Horseburgh, a merchant in Glasgow, in order that he might make 
a proper appearance in the capital of Portugal, where every person 
then wore a sword, even common labourers and mechanics. He 
borrowed it, however, for that specific purpose only, and merely 
for the time he might be absent from home. He was therefore 
bound in honour and in justice to have restored the sword to Mr. 
Horseburgh on his arrival in Glasgow from his Continental trip. 
Nevertheless Captain V^tex forgot to return the said sword, though 
often put in mind of it by Mr. Horseburgh, who was extremely 
unwilling to enter into a process upon so trifling and insignificant 
a subject, although he began to fear that he should be obliged to 
do so, unless he could fall upon some more eligible way of getting 
it out of his hands. At length, happening to dine one day at 
Hamilton, in company with Mr. James Tennant, the conversation 
over a bowl of punch turned upon this same sword. Both of them 
knew that but a short time before Captain Peter had borrowed a 
ring from Mr. Fleming, a merchant in Glasgow, that he had for- 
gottcn to restore it, and that a process had been actually brought 
against him, in which he had been effectually forced to make 
restitution, and condemned in expenses of process. Mr. Horse- 
burgh wished to recover his sword without that trouble, while Mr. 
Tennant was willing to assist him ; and accordingly it was agreed 
that, as Crossbasket^ was little out of the road to Glasgow, they 
should take it on their way, and try to get back the sword. 
Accordingly, having got tolerably merry, away they go to Captain 
Peter's, where, after drinking a little more, they observed the very 
identical sword, standing in an open closet off the room where 
they were sitting : and, in going away, Mr. Tennant took up the 
sword, and carried it into the chaise in which he and Mr. Horse- 
burgh were returning to Glasgow. 

gardener), on the north side of Camlachie Road, with a house, stable, and byre, and of 4.^ 
acres of ground on the south side of the said road, which were occupied by Mr. Adam 
Tennant himself. He was bailie of the river and Firth of Clyde in 1 74 1. 

^ In 1455 Crossbasket (along with Hamilton farm and some others) was erected into 
a lordship, called the Lordship of Hamilton. — Hamilton's Lanarkshire, p. 16. 


In this manner Mr. Horseburgh got possession of his own 
sword, and it did not once occur to him that either he or Mr. 
Tennant had been guilty of the least impropriety, far less that 
they had committed an act of tJieft or of spuilzie, as Captain Peter 
alleged they had done on this occasion. 

Nevertheless, three or four days after their return to Glasgow, 
Mr. Tennant received, to his great surprise, the following very 
extraordinary letter from Captain Peter : — 

"August, 1775. — Sir — You was not gone far on Sunday last before I 
missed the small sword, was given in a complitnent by Mr. Horseburgh. It is 
no person but you that is suspected for the trick, though it is a very bad one. 
It may pass very well amongst acquaintances, but let me tell you, it is below 
the character of a gentleman to be guilty of the like." 

Mr. Tennant immediately showed this epistle to Mr. Horse- 
burgh, and both of them were equally astonished at its contents. 
Mr. Horseburgh in particular was infinitely surprised to see Cap- 
tain Peter boldly asserting that the sword had been given to him 
in a compliment, when he knew very well that no such thing ever 
was done or intended, as he had only got the use of it in order to 
make a figure upon a single trip to Lisbon, Mr. Tennant, how- 
ever, did not choose to take the letter in a serious light, or to 
answer the abuse it contained in kind. He really could not 
believe that Captain Peter actually meant what he said, and 
therefore did all in his power for the Captain's satisfaction, by 
writing to him that the sword was taken away by him and Mr. 
Horseburgh in co77ipany, who was the undoubted proprietor of it, 
and who then had it actually in his oivn possession. 

Let us now look at Captain Peter's version of the story, which 
is as follows : — The Captain said, that having occasion to go to 
Lisbon upon business, at which place it is the general custom for 
every person to wear a sword, he found it necessary to equip him- 
self in that article of dress ; but, as the particular kind of small 
sword required was not necessary to him in his profession, and 
was a piece of dress he had no occasion to use anywhere else, he 
was willing to save himself the expense of purchasing one ; and, 
with this view, he applied to Mr. Harry Horseburgh, merchant in 
Glasgow, for a loan of his, not having at that time one of his own 


suitable for the occasion. Captain Peter further said that the 
sword had been in his possession above ten years, during which 
period, as Mr. Horseburgh had no use for the sword himself, he 
had never desired it to be returned to him, from whence, the 
Captain said, he was led to imagine that Mr. Horseburgh meant 
to allow him to keep it altogether, and, from this idea, he never 
made any offer to return it. The following is Captain Peter's 
account of the mode in which Mr. Tennant and Mr. Horseburgh 
had abstracted the said sword from Crossbasket House : — 

In the month of August 1775 James Tennant, merchant in 
Glasgow, along with Mr. Horseburgh, paid Captain Peter a visit 
on a Sunday, at his house at Crossbasket. It happened that on 
this occasion the Captain had other company with him, whom he 
entertained along with his two visitors in the best manner he 
could, and in the evening they took their leave. Two days after 
this Captain Peter, in looking for the sword in dispute, which had 
been lying in a room adjoining to that in which they had been 
sitting, found that it was amissing. As most natural, his first 
suspicion fell upon his own servants. However, on examining 
them, he could get no light into the matter ; and therefore he 
proposed to advertise the loss at the church doors and in the 
Glasgow newspapers, in order, if possible, to discover the offender; 
but he afterwards heard that, while he was entertaining his 
company in the dining-room, Mr. Tennant had gone into the next 
room where the sword was lying, and had privately carried it off. 
On receiving this information he applied to Mr. Tennant, desiring 
him to restore the said sword, and to acknowledge that he had 
acted improperly in carrying it away in the above-mentioned 
clandestine manner. To make this demand Mr. Peter considered 
himself well entitled, as Mr. Tennant was not the proprietor of the 
sword, seeing that he did not originally receive it from Mr. Horse- 
burgh ; and further, seeing that even Mr, Horseburgh himself 
would not have been entitled to have recovered the said sword in 
any other manner than by demanding it regularly from Captain 
Peter himself The Captain was therefore not a little surpised to 
find that Mr. Tennant not only refused to return the sword, or to 
make any acknowledgment for abstracting it, but even to give any 


reason for his conduct, treating the apph'catlon with ridicule and 
contempt. As the Captain said that he held himself bound in 
honour as well as in justice to preserve the sword for Mr. Horse- 
burgh himself, its right owner, and to restore it to him, if ever he 
should demand it, the Captain thought it incumbent on him to 
apply in a legal manner for redress, seeing that he was refused 
satisfaction in this matter by Mr. Tennant. Accordingly, in the 
month of September 1775, Captain Peter raised a process before 
the sheriff-depute of Lanark against Mr. Tennant, concluding that 
he should be ordained to deliver to the petitioner the sword above 
mentioned, with the sheath thereof, or to make payment of the 
value of the same, with damages and expenses, etc. The following 
is the tenor of the summons against Mr. Tennant, which was 
brought before the sheriff, and which set forth — 

" That upon the sixth of August preceding, Mr. James Tennant had, at his 
own hand, and without any order of law, carried away a silver-hilted small 
sword, and sheath thereof, which then, and for some time before, were in the 
possession of the pursuer. Captain David Peter, which sword and sheath the 
defender, James Tennant, carried away with him, without the consent or 
privity of the pursuer, and, though often required, refused to restore the same." 
It concludes — " That the said defender ought and should be decerned and 
ordained to restore, and deliver back to the pursuer the foresaid sword, and 
sheath thereof, in the like good condition the same were in when the defender 
dispossessed the pursuer thereof in manner foresaid, or otherwise make pay- 
ment to him of the sum of £s sterling, as the value thereof; and for proving 
which value the pursuer ought to be allowed his oath m litem." The summons 
further concluded — "That he should be decerned in £1 sterling of expenses of 
process, besides the expenses of extract." 

Let us now hear Mr. Horseburgh's version of the story. 

At the very first calling of the summons, and along with Mr. 
Tennant's defences, in which the facts were stated exactly in the 
same way as above mentioned by Mr. Tennant, Mr. Horseburgh 
sisted himself as a party, and gave in a compearance in the 
following words : — 

** That a number of years ago the pursuer, David Peter, borrowed from 
the compearer a silver-hilted small sword and sheath ; and as the pursuer did 
not appear disposed to return the same, so the compearer and defender, being 
at Hamilton, a little way distant from Crossbasket, they went by that place, 
and took the sword and sheath to Glasgow with them ; that the said sword 


and sheath were the compearer's property, and were in his possession, and he 
knew no law that could take them from him ; and if the pursuer, David Peter, 
thought otherwise, he might bring an action against the compearer for delivery 
of the sword and sheath, or payment of the value thereof, and he would defend 

Notwithstanding of Mr. Horseburgh's compearance in the 
action, Captain Peter gave in replies to the sheriff, in which, 
although he admitted that the sword was Mr, Horseburgh's 
property, and that it was only lent him for a particular purpose, 
now long ago answered, nevertheless that both Mr. Horseburgh 
and Mr. Tennant had been guilty of a spuilsic, or of a species of 
theft, and insisted that the sword and sheath should be restored 
to him, with expenses. After considerable litigation, the sheriff 
pronounced the following interlocutor : — 

" Having considered the hbel, answers, and replies, and compearance 
made for Harry Horseburgh, found it acknowledged that the sword and sheath 
libelled were the property of Mr. Horseburgh, the said compearer, who had 
obtained possession thereof in manner mentioned in his compearance ; where- 
fore dismissed the process, and found no expenses due on either side, but 
found the pursuer and defender and their procurators censurable for the 
illiberal strain of the debate, and fined and amerciated each of them mjive 
shillings sterling, for behoof of the poor, and ordained execution therefor at 
the instance of the collector for the poor, and found them liable for the expense 
of the extract, in case payment was not made before extracting, and decerned 
for the same accordingly, as it should be certified by the clerk of the court." 

The amand awarded by the sheriff having been paid by all 
the parties, the litigation for some time was still continued with 
as much obstinacy as ever before the sheriff ; but on the 9th of 
February 1777 this knotty question was brought by suspension 
before Lord Braxfield, the bill having been passed in the course 
of the rolls, although the case had been previously debated before 
Lord Covington, Ordinary, who, after having heard parties, with 
their answers, replies, and duplies, had refused to pass the bill of 
suspension. Lord Braxfield was generally called " Old Braxy." 
He spoke broad Scotch, and was nearly as great an original as 
Captain Peter himself; but nevertheless was esteemed one of the 
most acute and learned judges on the Bench. Whether his Lord- 
ship was diverted at the oddity of the case, or thought that Lord 


Covington had been in error for not passing the bill of suspension, 
does not exactly appear ; but at all events, " Old Braxy " passed 
the bill, and so the whole question came to be debated before him 
as Lord Ordinary, on which occasion Captain Peter employed the 
celebrated Henry Erskine as his advocate and counsel. On the 
20th February 1777 Lord Braxfield was pleased to pronounce 
the following curt interlocutor : — 

" Having considered the debate, suspends the letters simpliciter, and 
decerns : Finds the charger liable in expenses, and allows an account to be 
given in." 

His Lordship appeared to think that the action itself was truly 
" infra observantium Judicisl' and that the Roman maxim, " de 
minimis Jion curat Prcstor" was applicable to a case of the descrip- 
tion in question. 

Against the foregoing interlocutor the petitioner offered a 
representation, on advising which, of date 8th March 1777, Lord 
Braxfield pronounced the following interlocutor : — 

'* The Lord Ordinary having considered this representation and the former 
proceedings in the cause, in respect it is admitted that Harry Horseburgh was 
the owner of the sword, and that the representer, Captain Peter, had no 
objection against restoring the same to him when desired, and that Harry 
Horseburgh was in company with James Tennant, and were travelling in the 
same chaise together, when the sword was carried from the representer's 
house, and consequently it could not be unknown to Mr. Horseburgh, the 
owner, that the sword was carried away ; and in respect that Mr. Horseburgh 
compeared before the inferior court, and concurred with James Tennant in 
defending the action that was brought for restoring the sword ; adheres to his 
former interlocutor, and refuses the desire of the representation ; superseding 
extract till the 15th of June next." 

Captain Peter, having been dissatisfied with this and other 
interlocutors of the Lords Ordinary, gave in a petition to the 
Lords of the Inner House for leave to submit the same to their 
review, which petition, on presentation, having been appointed to 
be answered, the case came to be fully debated before their Lord- 
ships. Captain Peter's petition was not a long one ; he seemed 
to rely almost wholly upon the following quotation from Erskine, 
b. 4, tit. I, 15 : — 

*< Thus spuilzie may be committed, not only by strangers, but even by the 


owner of moveable goods carried off; because a right of property itself cannot 
justify the proprietor in assuming a power of judging in his own case. The 
pursuer, therefore, in an action of spuilzie, need prove no more than that he 
was in the lawful possession of the subject libelled, which gives him a right to 
be ante omfita restored to the possession ; for the action is grounded on this 
plain principle, that no man is to be stript of his possession but by the order 
of law." 

And accordingly, Captain Peter insisted that, whether the 
said sword was carried off by Mr. Tennant or by Mr. Horseburgh ; 
whether, if Mr. Tennant took it, he had, or he had not Mr. Horse- 
burgh's authority ; and whether the sword be or be not now in 
Mr. Horseburgh's possession, the consequence is all the same ; in 
short, either the law with regard to spidlzies is totally nugatory, 
or in the power of judges to apply it in one case and not in 
another, or Mr. Tennant was guilty of a spuilzie. 

Mr. Fergusson, the counsel for Mr. Tennant, in reply to the 
above arguments of Captain Peter, made a short reply, seeing that 
Lord Braxfield's interlocutor had already exhausted the subject : 
he, however, thus addressed the Bench : — 

" My Lords, it is not supposed that your Lordships will incline to appoint 
the respondent, Mr. Tennant, to give up the sword to Captain Peter, in order 
that it may in the next place be delivered to the real owner. Even supposing 
that the sword was in Mr. Tennant's possession, it would be rather easier to 
make him give it to the owner himself; but when it is admitted that Mr. 
Horseburgh has it already, Mr. Tennant frankly owns that it passes his com- 
prehension to conceive what it is that the petitioner, Captain Peter, would have 
your Lordships' order on the respondent to do. Surely he will hardly desire 
that you should appoint it to be delivered up, in order that he may keep it to 
himself, for he admits that it does not belong to him, neither will he desire 
your Lordships to appoint it to be delivered up, in order that it may be restored 
to Mr. Horseburgh, for this very satisfactory reason, because Mr. Horseburgh 
has it already !'" 

Although the following quotation was not urged by Mr. 
Fergusson, there can be little doubt but it was well known to their 
Lordships, and tended to influence them in their decision of the 
case : — 

Balfour, 472 — "He quha makis lauchful retributioun of the gudis may not 
be callit for spuilzie'^ 



" Gif ony man be persew it forspoliatioun and away-taking of ony gudis 
and gear, he aucht and sould be assoilzeit thairfra, gif he, or ony in his name, 
restorit reallie and with effect, efter the committing of the spuilzie, and befoir 
the intenting of the summoundis, the samin gudis and gear to the owner 
thairof, or to his wife and servandis, als gude as thay wer the time thay wer 
takin away. 1 6th JuHj, 1532." 

Their Lordships, after the case had been fully debated before 
them, affirmed Lord Braxfield's interlocutor, with expenses, and 
so ended this piigna gladiatoria. 


I have read with much interest the two articles in your papers of 
the 6th and nth instant, regarding the Custom-House of Glas- 
gow in olden time, by your antiquarian correspondent, A. Ross, 
Esq., which throw considerable light upon the state of the King's 
customs in the ports of Clyde a century and a half ago. An 
eminent member of the Antiquarian Society in Edinburgh lately 
placed in my hands an Edinburgh newspaper, published shortly 
after the union of the two Crowns, from which I have taken the 
following curious extract : — 

Extract from No. 1 11 of the Evenhig Post or the Nnv Edinburgh 
Gazette, from Saturday, i8th August, to Saturday, 21st August 

" Notice is hereby given to all Merchants, Captains, and Masters of Ships, 
and all others concerned, that Mr. John Hamilton, appointed by the Com- 
missioners of the Stampt Dutys at London, to be General or Head Distributor 
of Stampt Vellum, Parchment, and Paper, and Chief Collector of all Dutys and 
sums of money arising therefrom in Scotland, is to be spoke with, or got 
notice of at the Custom House in the Parliament Closs, Edinburgh, where all 
concerned may repair to be furnished with the said Stampt Paper, Parchment, 
&c. And for the greater ease and encouragement of the Lieges living at a 
distance from Edinburgh, the said Mr. Hamilton has, by the power and 
authority committed by the said Commissioners for appointing Sub-Distributors 
of the said Paper, Parchment, &c., and Sub -Collectors of the said Dutys 
thereon, constituted and appointed the Collectors of Her Majesty's Customs 
at the several Sea Ports in North Britain to be his Distributors thereof Likeas, 
the Publishers of Almanacks, and Makers of Cards and Dice, are hereby 


advertised that they are not to print or publish any Almanacks, or to make 
any Cards or Dice, without first acquainting the said Mr. Hamilton therewith, 
under the peins and penalties contained in the Act of Parliament." 

It appears that there were no stamp-duties levied in Scotland 
before the Union, and that the first British Parliament appointed 
the collectors of Customs in Scotland to be also the distributors 
of stamps. Perhaps some of your antiquarian correspondents 
may be able to say when the collectors of Customs at Glasgow 
ceased to be distributors of stamps, and when the first independ- 
ent distributor of stamps in Glasgow was appointed to the office 
in question. 

The first institution of stamp-duties was by Statute 5 and 
6 William and Mary, c. 2 ; and they have since in many 
instances been increased ten times. After this Act of Parliament 
had passed it became difficult to forge deeds of any standing, as 
the officers of this branch of the revenue varied their stamps 
frequently by marks perceptible to none but themselves. A man 
that would forge a deed of King William's time must know and 
be able to counterfeit the stamp of that date also. 

The first notice regarding the Glasgow Stamp Office that I 
have laid my hands upon is the following : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 12th May 1785. — "Stamp Office. The Stamp Office 
is to be removed to-morrow, from Dreghorn's land, foot of the Stockwell, to 
Shortridge's land, Argyle Street. Entry by Dunlop Street, and second door 
of the stair. — Glasgow, 12 May, 1785." 

The distributor of stamps at this time was Mr. Peter Black- 
burn, the grandfather of Peter Blackburn, Esq., M.P. Mr. Black- 
burn resided in Shortridge's Land, and the Stamp Office was in a 
room of his dwelling. 

Shortridge's Land was built in 1766, as the following advertise- 
ment shows : — 

Glasgow Journal, 24th April 1766. — "To be sold, by public roup, upon 
Tuesday the loth of June, betwixt the hours of twelve and two, within the 
house of Mrs. Armour, at the Cross of Glasgow, iwo storeys of that large 
tenement of land, newly built by John Shortridge, lying on the south side of 
Argyle Street, each storey consisting of a kitchen and eight fore rooms, with 
closets to most of the rooms, and two large cellars, and a garret room to each 


storey. To be sold unfinished, that the purchasers may finish them to their 
liking. The rooms and passes are all well lighted ; the braces and bed places 
well disposed. Two rooms in each storey have private doors from the stairhead, 
for writing rooms or kitchens ; and each storey is laid out so as to serve two 
families, if needful. Several of the rooms are large, and the roof high ; and 
at the head of the closs there is a private well, with very fine soft water. 

» TV.^. — Any person who inclines to make a private purchase may apply 
to John Shortridge betwixt and the roup." 

Mr. John Shortridge was the father of the late James Short- 
ridge (younger brother of Mr. Shortridge, of Todd and Shortridge). 
Mr. James Shortridge took the name of " Spreull," in consequence 
of succeeding to property bequeathed to him by Miss Spreull, 
whose death is thus recorded : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 12th February 1784. — "On Friday the 6th current, 
died, in the 84th year of her age, much and justly esteemed, Mrs. Margaret 
Spreull, daughter of the deceased Mr. John Spreull, merchant in this city." 

Miss Spreull possessed an old tenement in the Trongate, 
which I remember very well. It stood about midway between 
Hutcheson's Hospital and the Shawfield Mansion. Immediately 
after it became the property of Mr. James Spreull, he took it 
down, and built upon its site the present elegant tenement, now 
called SpreuU's Land. This property is strictly entailed, and I 
believe that it is the only burgage heritage in Glasgow subjected 
to the stringent fetters of an entail. 

The site of the Shortridge Land, and of the large tenement on 
its west side, belonged to my grandfather, who was born in 1696 
and died in 1741. Upon these lands there stood a large range 
of malt-kilns and malt-barns, with their pendicles, which were let 
by my grandfather to Mr. Miller of Westerton, for his malting 
establishment. Some of these malt kilns and barns existed in 
my day. Miller Street was named for Mr. Miller of Westerton. 

John Buchanan, Esq., an eminent Glasgow antiquary, has 
given us an interesting account how the entry to Dunlop Street 
from Argyll Street came to be so contracted, when it could have 
been so easily made as wide as the lower part of that street, by 
taking a portion of the ground which had belonged to my grand- 


Mr. Ross, in his article in the Herald of the iith instant, 
informs us that James Loudoun, collector at Glasgow, hired a 
large chamber in the coffee-house there, from Mrs. Shields, for a 
" Custom-House." This seems to settle the question regarding 
Glasgow having a regular Custom-House at an early date, 
although it might have been merely a pendicle of the lower ports. 
I think that the coffee-house here alluded to was in the corner 
tenement at the Cross and Saltmarket, and is thus alluded to by 
a notice in the Glasgow Mercury of i ith January i/Sr : — "The 
newspapers belonging to the Tontine Coffee-house are removed to 
Mr. Thomas Durie's, vintner, in the Trongate." This could not 
have reference to the present Tontine Coffee-house, for it was not 
then built, as the following notice shows : — 

Glasgow Journal, 13th June 1782. — "Notice. — The committee of the 
Tontine are now ready to contract for the wright work of the coffee-house and 
other buildings at the back of the Exchange. Those who propose to give 
in proposals may call on John Maxwell, the society's clerk, who will show the 
articles for finishing the work. Proposals will be received till the ist day of 
July next." 

I have not been able to find any written evidence that 
Mrs. Shields was tenant or proprietor of the coffee-house at the 
Cross, or that the Glasgow Custom-House was a room in the 
said coffee-house, but I think it very likely to have been the 

Mr. Ross says that " the sale by inch of candle would astonish 
a modern auctioneer," but such a mode of sale in my young days 
was by no means uncommon, as the following advertisement 
shows : — 

Mercury^ 31st May 1781. — "For sale, by the candle, at Lawson's Coffee- 
house in Leith, on Monday the nth day of June, betwixt the hours of twelve 
and one afternoon, the frigate Le Calonne, about 400 tons," etc. etc. 


The following quotation from an Edinburgh newspaper will give 
some insight into the politics of our Glasgow authorities at the 


commencement of the French Revolution in 1789, and will show 
that many members of our city authorities then entertained the 
same political views as Thomas Muir, younger of Huntershill ; 
but Provost John Campbell and Bailies John Dunlop, John Alston, 
and Ninian Glen were strong Pittites, as well as Alexander Low, 
dean of guild, and John Tennant, convener of the trades. A 
great proportion of the deacons of the crafts, however, were 
energetic Foxites, and so were the generality of the operative 
classes of the city, who at that time loudly applauded all the acts 
of the French National Assembly, and particularly their famous 
" Declaration of the Rights of Men, and of Citizens," in which it 
was judicially proclaimed, " That the Nation is essentially the 
source of all Sovereignty ; nor can any individual, or any body 
of men, be entitled to any authority which is not expressly derived 
from it." 

At the period of 1789 the Magistrates of Glasgow elected 
themselves into office, and allowed no reporters to enter the 
Council Chamber, It is a curious circumstance that Thomas 
Muir did not attack this system as being contrary to the rights 
of men and citizens. The times which followed the outbreak of 
the French Revolution were certainly dangerous, and Mr. Muir 
was at least incautious in his harangues to the populace of 

Edinburgh Advertiser, 9th January 1789. — " On Monday last, the Trades' 
House of Glasgow having met to vote a letter of thanks to the Right Hon. 
WilUam Pitt, for his late constitutional conduct in the House of Commons, 
the same was carried by a majority of five, and the Deacon Convener (John 
Tennant), requested to forward the letter immediately. Twenty-five members 
voted for the address, and twenty against it. The dissenting members entered 
a protest. 

" The following account is sent us by some of the gentlemen who were in 
the minority on the above-mentioned question : — 

" On the ist January, the friends of the Minister, in the Town Council of 
Glasgow, attempted to get a vote of thanks also from the Trades' House of 
the place, being a representation of the manufacturing inhabitants ; but it was 
carried by a majority of ONE, to delay the measure. And it was agreed that 
the Convener should call no meeting on the same subject, till about Thursday, 
the 8th current ; but the ministerialists, fearing that even this short delay 
might open the eyes of the people, called a meeting suddenly and unexpectedly, 
on the 5th current, and carried the vote of thanks by a majority of Five, — 


there being twenty against twenty -five, and a considerable number of the 
members absent. 

" A spirited protest has been taken against the proceedings of the majority 
on that occasion." 

Glasgow Mercury, 9th October 1792, 

" Glasgow, 3^ October 1792. 

" A number of Gentlemen, consisting of this City, and of several who 
reside in the adjoining country, having previously communicated their senti- 
ments to each other upon the Present State of the Nation, agreed to 
form a Society : and having this day met in the Star Inn, they constituted 
themselves into a permanent Society under the name of * The ASSOCIATED 
Friends of the Constitution and of the People.' 

" Lieutenant-Colonel Dalrymple, of Fordell, was elected President. 

"Thomas Muir, Esq., younger of Huntershill, Advocate, Vice-President. 

" George Crawfurd, Writer in Glasgow, Secretary. 

" The following Resolutions were then agreed to : — 

" Resolved, — ' To co-operate with the Association of the Friends ot the 
People in London, in all proper measures to accomplish an equal Representa- 
tion of the People in Parliament.' 

" Resolved, — ' To enter into every legal and constitutional measure to 
obtain a shorter duration of Parliamentary Delegation.' 

"Resolved, — 'That none shall be admitted Members of this Society who 
do not subscribe their concurrence to the two previous Resolutions.' 

" Resolved, — ' That these Resolutions, forming the primary objects of 
our Association, be printed in the Scots and English Newspapers.' 

" Resolved, — ' That the thanks of this meeting are due to the Gentlemen 
who have acted upon the occasion as our President and Secretary.' 

" \Vm. Dalrymple, Chairman.''' 

Glasgow Mercury, 30th October 1792. 

"Star Inn, Glasgow, 17M October 1792. 

At a meeting of the Friends of the Constitution, and of the People, — 
Colonel Dalrymple in the chair ; 

"Resolved unanimously, — 'That Charles Grey, Esq., Member for 
Northumberland, who announced in the House of Commons that he, at an 
early period of next Session, would move the House to bring in a bill for 
shortening the duration of Parliaments, and for a more equal Representation, 
deserves well of his Country, and merits the thanks of this Society.' 

"Resolved unanimously, — 'That the most noble the Marquis of 
Lansdowne, for supporting the cause of the People, merits the approbation 
of his Country, and the thanks of this Society.' 

"Resolved unanimously, — 'That the Honourable Thomas Erskine 


merits the thanks of this Society, for having pledged himself to second the 
motion to be made by Mr. Grey in the House of Commons, of a Reform 

"Resolved unanimously, — 'That the Associated Friends of the 
People in London, for their exertions, merit the thanks of the People, and 
ought to have their constitutional support, in their endeavours to restore the 
constitution to its genuine principles.' 

" William Dalrymple, Chairman. 

" Thomas Muir, Vice-President. 

" George Crawfurd, Secretary.'" 

" To the Members of the Associated Societies of the Association of the 
Friends of the Constitution, and of the People of Glasgow, 

" Gentlemen — In following out their original plan, the Association has 
resolved that each affiliated Society shall send Delegates to a meeting which 
is to be held in Winton's Tavern, at 8 o'clock in the evening, upon Wednes- 
day next. It is no longer necessary for the Association to hold weekly general 
meetings, in which all its members are personally present. The constitutional 
firmness, moderation, and virtue, of these general meetings, have rendered 
them respectable in the eyes of all good men, and of all to whom the peace 
and prosperity of their country is dear. In spite of the artifices of malevolence, 
the Association knows with confidence, that the Affiliated Societies will act 
up to their principles, and that no conduct upon their part shall ever occasion 
a sentiment of regret in the breast of any virtuous man who may have joined 
them. — I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, your most obedient Servant, 

" G. Crawfurd, Sec. 

''Glasgow, Oct. 29, 1792." 

Thomas Muir, younger of Htmtershill. 

It has generally been supposed that the estate of Huntershill 
had been for many generations the family property of Mr. Thomas 
Muir's ancestors, but from the following advertisement it will be 
seen that Huntershill appears to have been purchased by Mr. 
Thomas Muir's father so late as 1782, being only about ten years 
before the first meeting of the Associated Friends of the Constitu- 
tion and of the People was held in Glasgow : — 

Glasgow Jotn-nal, 21st February 1782. 
" For Private Sale. 
" To be sold, and entered into immediately, 
" The Lands of Huntershill, in the Parish of Calder, consisting of 


about thirty acres of arable Ground, and ten acres of Moss, or thereby, 
together with the new Dwelling-House built thereon, by the deceased James 

" For particulars, apply to James Brown, painter in Glasgow; or Archibald 
Gardner, merchant in Paisley." 

(Mr. James Brown, painter, above named, was the father of William Brown, 
Esq., Stockwell Street, late of Kilmardinny.) 


The writer of this article having been requested to throw 
together any information which he possessed regarding the ancient 
building and its pertinents, No. 142 Trongate, and also to state 
such anecdotes of its old proprietors, or former occupants, as 
might be thought worthy of recording, now complies with the 

The first object to be attended to with regard to this (now 
perhaps), the oldest house in the Trongate, is the small family 
escutcheon placed near the eastmost window of the floor imme- 
diately above the shop of Mr. George Love, stationer, No. 138 
Trongate, and close to the water-pipe. It bears the date of 
1596; but in none of the histories of Glasgow is there any 
reference made with regard to the original proprietor of this 
building. It appears, however, from the above date, to have been 
erected during the time of the Reformation, about seven years 
before the old Tolbooth at the Cross was erected, and when Sir 
Matthew Stuart of Minto was lord provost of Glasgow. As for 
the bailies of the city, the dean of guild, deacon convener, 
treasurer, bailies of the river, and of Gorbals, with the officials, the 
town-clerk, and master of works, of the above date of 1596, the 
names of all these parties have perished, or escaped the notice of 
our Glasgow historians. 

It would be difficult now to trace back the names of the 
different proprietors of this property, for although it bears every 
mark of having been in former times the family mansion (with 
extensive offices and garden) of a wealthy Glasgow patrician, yet 
it seems in after-times to have been parcelled out to different 


proprietors, down to our own days. Even in the chronicles of 
honest John M'Ure it is difficult to trace this property ; for, 
notwithstanding of his having given us a list of all the tene- 
ments on the north side of the Trongate in the year 1736, we 
nevertheless are not sure of being in the right when we fix upon 
his description as being applicable to the property in question ; 
we can merely say that it comes nearest to it agreeably to his 
statement, which is as follows : — 

*' The great tenement belonging to the heirs of Michael Coulter, late bailie ; 
the tenement within the closs thereof belonging to William Anderson, late 
bailie ; the tenement at the back thereof, within the closs, belonging to the 
heirs of Charles Crawford, merchant ; the tenement at the back thereof be- 
longing to the heirs of John Bryson, of Craigallion ; the Flesh Market, and 
shades within the same, belonging to the city of Glasgow." 

A question here occurs very fit for the Notes and Queries : 
Was the back court of this building our old Flesh Market, and if 
not, pray where was it situated ? We all know where the Country, 
or Bell Street, Market, was then situated ; but there seems no 
existing trace of this market, which appears to have been carried 
from the Trongate to the Candleriggs, and ultimately from thence 
to King Street, in 1754, when the present markets there were 

By examining the map of Glasgow in Stuart's Views (dated 
1 783)} we will see an accurate sketch of the property in question, 
as it stood at that time. Mr. Baird of Craigton then occupied 
the back premises, and also the long stripe of ground (now 
Brunswick Street) extending to the back Cow Loan, or Ingram 
Street. Mr. Baird kept this park or garden wholly in grass, 
which afforded pasture for his horses. He was a sporting gentle- 
man ; and at the south end of this said garden (now the narrow 
part of Brunswick Street) he erected a leaping bar, encircled with 
furze and thorns, about four and a half feet high, over which he 
trained his young hunting horses to leap. Mr. Baird also, in the 
centre of his garden, and extending its whole length from north 
to south, formed a bioad roadway, all laid down with tan bark, 
which made a pleasant soft path for giving his horses exercise 
upon. In these days here, daily, might have been seen Mr. Baird's 



jockeys trying his horses in all their paces. This ground was 
known over the city by the name of " Baird's yard." But Mr. 
Baird having died, and times having changed, Mr. Baird's house 
became a tavern, and his garden Brunswick Street. At present 
Mr. Baird's house is occupied as the Christian News office. 

As for the front property, in after times, the ground floor 
having been turned into shops, they at first were let for about 
five pounds of rent for each shop; but they soon rose in value, 
and at the beginning of the present century Mr. Robert Gray, 
jeweller, bought the eastmost shop, at what was then considered 
the enormous price of £600. James Hamilton, grocer, occupied 
the next to it ; and John Swanson, grocer, the westmost one. 
Provost Mills had his writing office in the second floor above the 
street The first floor above the shops and the attics belonged 
to the late Francis Reid, Esq., of Greenlaw, who was bailie of 
Gorbals in 1771. 

Glasgoui Mercury, 22d September 1789. — "To be sold by public roup, 
on the 20th inst., that garden, belonging to the magistrates of Glasgow and 
town council of the city, sometime ago acquired by them from John Clark, 
trustee of John Baird, merchant in Glasgow, lying on the north side of the 
Trongate Street, on the west side of the Candleriggs Street, and on the south 
side of Ingram Street, together with an entry of thirty feet wide from the 
Candleriggs into the said garden, with the houses and buildings erected on the 
said entr>'. — Apply to the town clerks." 

Mercury, 29th July 1794.— "To be sold by public roup, on the 7th of 
August next, a tenement of land in the fifth close west from the Candleriggs, 
Trongate, as possessed formerly by Mr. Baird of Craigton, and last by Mr. 
John Auchincloss, with a piece of garden ground at the back, or on the north 
side of it, which lies in the line of Brunswick Street, and which will come to 
be of consideration when the junction of that street with the Trongate is 
carried on. — Apply to James Mathie, writer." 

iZthJidy 1861.) 


It is said to be as natural for an author to make an ostenta- 
tious display of his reading, by giving quotations, as it is for an 


old man to amuse himself by telling the stones of his early days. 
Now, I have to apologise to your readers on the present occasion, 
seeing that I am about to transgress, by indulging myself in both 
propensities. Whosoever implicitly follows his propensities may 
act very rightly ; but he may err most egregiously ; for he is apt 
to think that the road before him is easy, and as smooth and trim 
as if causewayed with Mr. Carrick's best Furnace granite ; and 
therefore he very likely sets off at a loose canter, which soon 
increases to racecourse speed, and then generally ends in a 
ivhinnblc. " Tam hoc tibi in proclivi quam imber quando pluit." 
So says Plautus, 

It is well known that the ancient Greeks and Romans were 
very fond of sports and shows, and that large sums of money were 
frequently expended from the public purse to gratify the propen- 
sities of the populace for such amusements ; but it was quite 
otherwise in Scotland in former times, her rulers setting their faces 
against patronising even the innocent recreations of the lieges, as 
the following quotations show : — 

" 3d Parliament, James IV., 1491. — Item : It is statute and ordained that 
in na place of the Realme there be vsed fute ball, golf, or vther sik vnprofit- 
able sportes." 

"6th Parliament, Mary, 1555. — Item: It is statute and ordaned that in 
all times cumming na maner of person be chosens Robert Hude, nor Little 
John, Abbot of Un-reason, Queen of May, nor vthervvise nouther in burgh 
nor to Landwart in onie time." 1 

This last-mentioned Act of the Scottish Parliament was pro- 
bably passed in consequence of the enthusiastic preaching of John 
Knox, the great champion of the Scottish Reformation, who had 
just returned from Geneva, where he had imbibed all the tenets 
and fervour of the celebrated John Calvin. In 1555 Knox 
travelled about from place to place throughout Scotland, enforc- 
ing, with great energy and effect, his views of the Protestant 
doctrine, and railing against sports and shows as vain and empty 
shadows, totally unworthy the regard of an evangelical disciple. 

It is curious to observe how entirely the amusements of Robin 

^ So late as 1592 we find the General Assembly complaining of the profanation of 
the Sabbath by making of Robin Hood plays. — Boo): of Universal Kirk, page 414. 


Hood and Little John have disappeared from amongst us. They 
are even more obsolete than many of our ancient Druidical rites 
and practices. 

The following ballad regarding Robin Hood and Little John 
shows one of the scenes which delighted the populace of former 
years, and was acted as a drama on the Sabbath-days : — 

" Story of Little John and the Four Beggars ; or, A Merry Song of 
Robin Hood and Little John, showing how Little John went a-begging, 
and of his fighting with four beggars, and what a prize he took from them. 

*' All you that delight to spend some time, 
A merry song for to sing, 
Unto me draw neer, and you shall hear 
How Little John went a-begging. 
As Robin Hood walked the forest along. 
And his yeomandree. 

Says Robin, ' Some of you must a-begging go, 
And, Little John, it must be thee.' 
Says John, ' If I must a-begging go, 
I will have a Palmer's ^ weed ; 
With a staff and a coat, and Bags of sorts, 
The better then shall I speed.' 
Come, now give me a Bag for my Bread, 
And another for my Cheese ; 
And one for a Penny, if I get any, 
That nothing I may leese. 
Now Little John is a-begging gone, 
Seeking for some relief. 
But of all the Beggars he met on the way. 
Little John was the chief. 
But as he was walking all alone, 
Four Beggars he chanced to spy. 
Some Deaf, some Blind, and some came behind : 
Says John, Here's brave company ! ! ! 
Good morrow, said John, my Brethren dear. 
Good fortune I had you to see : 
Which way do you go .? Pray let me know ? 
For I want some company. 
OH ! What's here to do .? said Little John ; 
Why ring these Bells ? said he : 
What dog is hanging ? Come, let us be ganging. 

1 Palmer — a pilgrim who returned from the Holy Land cariying palm. — ^JOHNSON. 


That we the truth may see. 
There is no dog hanging, one of them said, 
Good Fellow, I tell unto thee ; 

But here is one dead, that will give cheese and bread, 
And it may be, one single penny. 
We have Brethren in London. Another he said. 
So have we in Coventry, 

In Berwick and Dover, and all the world over, 
But ne'er a crooked carle like thee : 
Therefore, stand thee back ! thou crooked carle, 
And tak that knock on the crown. 
Nay, said Little John, I'll not yet be gone, 
For a Bout I will have with you round. 
Now, have at you all ! then said Little John, 
If you be so full of blows. 
Fight on all Four, and never give o'er, 
Whether you be friends or foes. 
John nipp'd the dumb, and made them roar. 
And the blind that could not see, 
And those who had been cripples for seven years. 
He made them run faster than he ; 
And flinging them all against the wall. 
With many a sturdy bang, 
It made John to sing, to hear the gold ring, 
And against the wall cry twang. 
Then he got out of the Beggar's cloak 
Three hundred pounds in gold. 
Good fortune had I, said Little John, 
Such a good sight to behold. 
But what found he in the Beggars' Bags ? 
Just three hundred pounds and three ! ! ! 
If I drink water while this does last. 
Then an ill death may I dee ; 
And my begging trade I will give o'er. 
My fortune hath been so good : 
Therefore, I'll not stay — I will away 
To the Forest of merry Sherwood. 
But when to the forest of Sherwood he came, 
His master stood, bold Robin Hood, 
And all his company. 

What 7ie'ws ? What news ? said bold Robin Hood, 
Come, Little John, tell unto me ? 
How hast thou sped, with thy Beggar's trade ? 
For that I fain would see. 
No news but good, said Little John ; 
With begging full well have I sped : 


Three hundred and three I have for thee, 

In silver and gold so red. 

Then Robin Hood took Little John by the hand, 

And danced about the oak Tree ; 

If we drink water while this doth last, 

Then an ill death may we dee." 

The first show that I attended took place more than eighty 
years ago, and was that of a white polar bear {Ursus maritiimis). 
It was stationed alongside of a large tin trough or tank, filled 
with water, in which it had the liberty of taking a bath. It was 
a very fine specimen of the species, being upwards of 12 feet in 
length, with hair long, soft, and white. It had more of a placid 
than of a ferocious look, but appeared extremely uneasy at being 
confined, and seemed to feel that it was quite out of its natural 
element, which it showed by occasionally roaring dolefully, as if in 
distress. In order to silence it, the keeper used to dash a pailful 
of water in its face, which it took very kindly, and so ceased its 
clamouring. It was not shut up in a cage, but only confined to 
the floor by an iron chain, which was of a length sufficient to 
enable it to climb into the water trough or tank at its pleasure. 
There was no display of any other animal at this show. A polar 
bear has seldom been exhibited at any of our menageries, although 
no great difficulty has been felt by our Arctic whalers in capturing 
that animal. 

The next show that I went to see was that of the celebrated 
lion tiger (as it was called). This was perhaps the finest specimen 
of the Royal tiger {Tigris, Felis) that ever was brought to this 
country, both as to its size and as to the variety and brilliancy of 
its colours. From my remembrance of it, I think it must have 
been upwards of 6 feet long, from the point of the muzzle to the 
origin of the tail ; it was, however, a most fierce and savage 
animal, and required to be strongly confined in a cage encom- 
passed with iron bars. The keeper having given the company 
strong injunctions not to use any freedoms with it, on account of 
its extreme ferocity, I felt a little alarmed, and did not approach 
it very closely, but was content to take a cautious view of it at a 
safe distance. Naturalists, writing of the Royal tiger, say that it 


seems to have no other instinct but a constant thirst after blood, 
a blind fury which knows no bounds or distinction. Neither force, 
restraint, nor violence can tame the tiger ; it is equally irritated 
with good as with bad treatment ; it tears the hand which 
nourishes it with equal fury as that which administers blows to it. 
This is a just character of the animal exhibited at this show as 
the lion tiger. Besides the said tiger, there were several monkeys 
in this show, and some foreign birds of rich plumage, which 
attracted my attention more than the tiger. The end of this last- 
mentioned noble animal was rather tragical. During the night- 
time it broke out of its cage, and immediately attacked one of the 
small monkeys, which it not only devoured, but also swallowed 
the iron collar which encompassed the monkey's neck ; the con- 
sequence was, that this collar remained fast in its bowels, and in 
a few days caused its death. 

Although, from the novelty of the exhibitions, these two 
shows afforded me much pleasure, nevertheless my gratification 
was not without some alloy, for I could not altogether divest my- 
self of feeling a certain kind of dread, lest these wild and powerful 
animals should break loose and tear me to pieces. The next 
show, however, which I attended was one of a very different kind, 
as it yielded me the most intense pleasure and delight, without 
any fear of being worried and devoured. This was the celebrated 
puppet show of Punch's Opera. It was, however, after all but a 
paltry itinerant exhibition, or children's penny show, and had not 
even the advantage of any scenic decoration, for the performances 
were confined to a small open space in a wooden structure, little 
larger than a common soldier's sentry-box. In the lower part of 
this box^ the operator of the movements remained ensconced and 
invisible to the audience, while the upper part of the said box 
formed the exposed theatre, where the puppets were exhibited. 
On this occasion there were only four figures as dramatis personce^ 
viz. Punch, Joan (his wife), little Judy, and the Devil. The 
operator certainly possessed considerable comic powers and a 
great share of low humour, by which he kept the company in a 
constant roar of laughter. The imitations of the voices of Joan 
and of Judy were excellent, and his buffoonery, by making the 


figures the vehicles of his scurril mirth and vulgar jests, showed 
great talents for ridicule and burlesque. The Devil (as usually 
represented) had two horns on his head, a jet-black face, and 
flaming fiery eyes. If at any time he popped up his head from 
a corner of the stage to take a sly peep of what was going on, 
Mr. Punch never failed to give him a tremendous thwack on the 
crown, which sent him headlong to the lower regions, amidst the 
immense cheering and loud plaudits of the audience. Our music 
consisted of various tunes from a small barrel-organ, and of a few 
humorous songs, such as the " Taylor Done Over ;" also of some 
infantile recitatives, as — 

" Yin-erie, twa-erie, tick-erie, seven, 
Alibi, crack-erie, ten or eleven. 
Pin, pan, muskie dan, 
Tweedle-um, Twaddle-um, twenty-one," 
etc. etc. 

For nearly a month after having seen this show my leisure 
hours were wholly occupied in manufacturing Mr. Punch and the 
above-mentioned puppets, and exhibiting them at home to my 
companions and others, from a pavilion and stage got up for the 
purpose with chairs and old carpets. 

The following notice of a show in Glasgow took place before 
my day, but the effects of this exhibition extended to my 
juvenile years, as it then became quite the rage in Glasgow for 
young ladies, as a piece of education, to be taught the art of con- 
structing grottoes, shell fruits, shell flowers, and other testaceous 
ornaments ; some of which were to be seen adorning the draw- 
ing-room mantlepieces of all our fashionable folks of the day ; 
and I daresay that many of your readers yet see some of the 
beautiful foreign shells of those bygone days still forming the 
ornaments of the brace-pieces of many of our old Glasgow 

Glasgow Journal, 12th February 1759. — "Mr. Perrot has just arrived 
here from London with the most exact and beautiful models of the following 
grottoes and shellwork, viz. — 

I St, The Royal Grotto at Marli, in France. 

2d, Sir Nathaniel Curzon's Grotto in Derbyshire. 


3d, A piece of Shellwork in the Grand Signer's Palace. 
4th, A Royal Grotto at Lisbon. 

5th, The Royal Shellwork of the Emperor of Germany. 
6th, The Royal Shellwork at Herenhausen, in Hanover. 
7th, Trees made of sea-weeds. 
8th, A piece ditto in the garden of Versailles. 
"Also, some fine pieces in the Chinese and Gothic tastes, which were 
never before exhibited. 

" The above are composed of the most curious and valuable shells, fine 
red and white corals, and other materials, arranged with great propriety and 
elegance, and perfectly resembling those famous works (on the models of 
which they are formed), whose beauty of design and rural simplicity render 
them the admiration of all who see them. 

" The above are all to be seen with the naked eye, and may be viewed by 
two or more at any hour from ten in the morning till ten at night, at Mr, 
TurnbuU's, the Crown and Anchor, directly opposite the Guard — Price Six 

" Mr. Perrot instructs ladies and gentlemen in the art of making shell- 
work on reasonable terms." 

Mr. Perrot, however, was not permitted to monopolise the 
instruction of young ladies in the elegant art of making grottoes 
and shellwork ; for John Gibson advertises that he has opened a 
warehouse on the first storey of Buchanan's Land, opposite the 
Main Guard, where he teaches ladies the following works (which 
he says, " have been always esteemed a necessary piece of their 
education "), viz. japanning upon wood, painting upon glass, 
making jars of glass (painted in imitation of china), shell flowers, 
and all sorts of shell and grotto work, in the most genteel taste, 
etc. The prices are a guinea per month if the ladies attend the 
school, and a guinea and a half if they are taught at their houses. 

In my early days there was a Miss Gardiner, from Edinburgh, 
who came to Glasgow, and advertised to teach our young ladies 
the following branches of fashionable accomplishments, as a 
necessary part of their education, viz. to make gumflowers, shell- 
work, glass jars (in imitation of china), Dresden fabrics, to work 
watch chains and strings, fringes and net purses (in imitation of 
lace), etc. etc. This lady also boarded young ladies at her house 
in Marshall's Land, Saltmarket, and undertook to improve and 
polish their manners, in conformity to those of the most fashion- 
able circles in London. I remember this lady very well. She 


was extremely conceited and formal, and prided herself upon being 
able to 7iap the King's English in the purest style. I have seen 
many of the productions of the scholars of this lady ; in particular, 
one of Adam and Eve, placed in a shell grotto, surrounded with 
trees of sea-weeds, and the celebrated tree of knowledge of good 
and evil in front, having clusters of tempting apples upon it, made 
from small red coral beads. The serpent, however, was awanting. 
I have further had in my possession one of the famous glass jars 
made in imitation of china by one of Miss Gardiner's pupils. It 
consisted of a crystal jar, in the inside parts of which were pasted 
Chinese prints, richly decorated by the young artist in brilliant 
red, blue, and green colours ; having views of tea-parties enjoying 
themselves in arbours, amidst willow trees, Tartar pagodas, crooked 
bridges, and clumsy barges floating in ponds. The inside of the 
jar was coated with stucco, which gave it the appearance of rich 
porcelain, and on the whole it formed a pretty enough toy. 

The following is an advertisement from the Glasgow news- 
papers of the times, and shows how valuable a shell grotto was 
then esteemed : — 

" The RafHe of the Grotto belonging to Miss M'Lean is obliged to be post- 
poned to Friday the 2d of January next, at the house of James Graham, 
vintner (Saracen's Head). It is requested that such ladies and gentlemen 
who were entrusted with subscription papers will lodge them, with the money, 
in the hands of James Graham, betwixt and said date." 

At this time the principal watering-places on the west coast 
were Gourock^ and Inverkip. Largs was then considered to be 
rather too far distant, and difficult of access, in consequence of 
which only a few families from Glasgow took up their summer 
residence there. Rothesay, for a like reason, had still fewer Glas- 
gow visitors as salt-water lodgers. Helensburgh might then have 
been said to be non-existent; and in the year 1779 our family were 

^ Glasgow JotD'ftal, 15th March 1764. — "Goat Whey Quarters. To be let 
this present year, the mansion house of Gourock, with a large garden, and enclosure of 
grass that will keep half-a-dozen of horses and a couple of cows. It will easily divide 
for several families, as it has separate entries. The house is two short miles from 
Greenock ; and as there is a turnpike road almost the whole way, the communication is 
equally good to Glasgow by land or water. There is also to sett, a large thatch house, 
for a change house, in the south end of Gourock." 



the sole summer occupiers of lodgings at Dunoon, or upon any 
part of the coast of Cowal, which was at that period looked upon 
as altogether a wild uncultivated Highland district. The young 
ladies and children of the families who then visited the west coast 
employed their whole vacant and idle hours in search of curious 
shells along the shores of the Firth, and in industriously picking 
up all the Buccinse, Cochleae, Voltuae, and Tellinse from the sands, 
and in particular the beautiful small shells of the orange-coloured 
peck ten, or scallop shell, in order to form their grottoes and shell 
works. These elegant small scallop shells were in great demand 
to make purses and pin-cushions of them. There was, however, 
a great drawback to the use of these, our Firth shells for fashion- 
able shell work — viz., that they were rough and unpolished. At 
this time the importation into London of rare and beautiful shells 
from India, China, the West Indies, and indeed from every quarter 
of the world, had become an extensive and important branch of 
business. These shells, on arrival in London, were subjected to 
a regular process of cleaning, polishing, and varnishing, so as to 
suit them to the taste of the market. The Dutch, in particular, 
excelled in the art of polishing up shells. They not only filed 
them down on all sides, but also subjected them to the action of 
the wheel, by which the very character of the species became a 
riddle ; nor did they stop at this, but being determined to have 
beauty at any rate, they set about improving nature, and fre- 
quently added some lines and colours with a pencil, and after- 
wards covered them over with a fine coat of varnish, so that they 
seemed to be the natural lineations of the shell. It was with 
such like rare and finely-polished shells, brought from London, 
that nearly all our Glasgow school grottoes and shell works were 
constructed ; and the more uncommon the appearance of the shell 
seemed to be, so much the more valuable it became. I must say 
that many of these shells were extremely beautiful, and would 
have claimed the admiration of any professed conchologist. I 
have in my possession some of the beautiful polished shells of 
those bygone days, which still ornament the mantelpiece of my 
bedroom, and are yet much admired. 

About this time a Signior Powell went about the country 


exhibiting very wonderful deeds of fire -eating. He swallowed 
red-hot coals, taken directly from a blazing pile, and gulped down 
large draughts of liquid fire, flaming sealing-wax, and burning 
brimstone. He also broiled steaks upon his tongue, and washed 
his mouth with oil of vitriol. He likewise performed numerous 
other extraordinary feats of pyrotechnics, to the extreme astonish- 
ment of the beholders. 

In the Journal des Scavans there is the following explanation 
how these fire-eating performances were effected, viz. — 

" The secret of fire-eating was made public by a servant to one Richardson, 
an Englishman, who showed it in France about the year 1667, and was the 
first performer of the kind that ever appeared in Europe. This secret con- 
sisted only in rubbing the hands, and thoroughly washing the mouth, lips, 
tongue, teeth, and other parts that are to touch the fire, with pure spirit of 
sulphur, or a mixture of spirits of sulphur, sal-ammoniac, and essence of 
rosemary. This burns and cauterises the epidermis or upper skin, until it 
becomes as thick leather, and every time that the experiment is tried it 
becomes still easier than before to perform the operation with safety. In 
broiling a veal cutlet in his mouth, the performer first lays on a very thin slice 
on his tongue, then the red-hot charcoal above that, and lastly places the 
cutlet about to be broiled on the said glowing materials, and so dresses it, fit 
to be presented at the table. The red-hot coals cannot burn him before they 
are extinguished by the saliva which soon insensibly fills the cavity of his 
mouth. After the performer has retired from the exhibition, he generally 
drinks a plentiful dose of warm water and oil, till he has vomited up whatever of 
the materials he had been obliged to swallow in the course of his fiery opera- 

The hands of many blacksmiths and forgemen acquire such a 
degree of callosity, by often handling red-hot materials, that these 
men will carry a glowing bar of iron from the furnace to the anvil 
in their naked fists without the least hurt. Tavernier, in his Voy- 
ages, says that he met with a slave who would suffer himself, for 
a small reward, to be hung round with heavy chains of red-hot 
iron, and would keep them on till they were quite cold, without 
the least apparent sense of pain. (This, however, appears to me 
to be a little hyperbolical.) The ordeal by fire was a Saxon 
mode of trial, in which an appeal was made to Heaven, when the 
accused undertook to walk blindfold between nine red-hot plough- 
shares, and if he or she escaped unhurt, it was looked upon as a 


proof of innocence. Queen Emma, a Saxon princess, successfully 
underwent this ordeal — no doubt previously instructed by the 
priesthood in what manner to guard herself against the effects of 
the ardent ploughshares. 

The next show that I shall take notice of was certainly a very 
curious one ; and I believe that nothing of the kind has ever since 
been exhibited in Europe. We have had many shows of learned 
horses, learned dogs, and even learned pigs ; but who, nowadays, 
ever saw a learned flea ? The very idea of the thing appears 
ludicrous. Nevertheless, such was the novel spectacle exhibited 
to our wondering citizens of olden time, as the following advertise- 
ment fully explains : — 

Glasgow J otirnal, 4th August 1763. 
'* This is to Acquaint the Curious, 

" That there is to be exhibited by the inventor and maker, S. Boverick, 
from nine in the morning till eight in the evening, at the sign of the Mason's 
Arms, opposite the Main Guard, Trongate, at one shilling each person, the so 
much admired collection of Miniature Curiosities, consisting of the following 
pieces : — 

" I. An ivory chaise with four wheels, and all the proper apparatus be- 
longing to them, turning readily on their axis together, with a man sitting on 
the chaise, all drawn by a flea, without any seeming difficulty, the chaiseman 
and flea being barely equal to a single grain. 

" 2. A flea chained to a chain of 200 links, with a padlock and key — all 
weighing less than one-third of a grain. The padlock locks and unlocks. 
These two pieces are mentioned, with admiration, by Mr. Henry Baker, of the 
Royal Society, in his book called ' Microscope made Easy,' which the inventor 
and maker has by him, to show if required. 

" 3. A landau, which opens and shuts by springs, hanging on braces, with 
four persons therein, two footmen behind, a coachman on the box, with a 
dog between his legs, six horses and a postillion, all drawn by single flea ! 

" 4. A pair of steel scissors weighing but the sixteenth part of a grain, 
which will cut a large horse-hair. 

" 5. Thirty-six dozen of well-fashioned silver spoons in a pepper corn, and 
still room for several dozens more. 

"N.B. — The above curiosities have been shown to the Courts of England, 
France, and Holland, the Royal Society in London, the Professors of Mathe- 
matics at Leyden, who have done the maker the honour to give testimonies of 
their approbation under their hands, in Latin, and nether Dutch, which may 
be seen by any person who desires it. 

**i^" To be exhibited here no longer than the 13th inst. — August 1763." 


In speaking about the show of the h'on- tiger, I stated that 
the death of that noble animal was rather tragical ; but, on the 
contrary, the death of this poor flea was truly comical. It took 
place thus, as reported to me : — A country wife, from Pollokshaws, 
having come to Glasgow on a market day to sell her fowls and 
eggs, happened to see people going into the above-mentioned 
show in Buchanan's Land, and, as she had made very favourable 
sales that day of her stock, she resolved to see the said show ; 
accordingly, without knowing exactly what she was about to see, 
she paid her admission money, and directly thereafter marched 
up to the table on which the flea was performing its task of draw- 
ing the ivory coach and coachman. The poor woman looked 
only to the flea, and instantly turning down her thumb nail upon 
it, cracked it in a moment, exclaiming — " Filthy beast, wha could 
hae brought you here?" The showman, in a violent rage, seized 
the woman by the throat, and demanded how she dared to kill the 
flea. On the other hand, the astonished woman, not knowing 
that she had done anything wrong, exclaimed — " Losh me, man, 
makin' sic a wark about a flea ; gif you come wi' me to the 
Shaws, we'll gi'e ye a peck o' them, and be muckle obliged to you 
for takin' them." As the woman was a widow, and possessed 
little or no property, Mr. Boverick thought it most prudent to 
put up with his loss, in place of going into a court of law for 
damages. In the present times, the value of a flea would be a 
curious question at a jury trial. The flea {Ptdex) had six legs ; 
nevertheless it seldom walks, but is remarkable for its agility in 
leaping to a height equal to 200 times that of its own body. 
This bloodthirsty insect, which fattens at the expense of the 
human species, is said to prefer the more delicate skin of young 
ladies, in which, with its piercer or sucker, it first makes an entrance, 
and then thrusts it farther into the flesh, so as to make the blood 
flow from the adjacent parts, and thus occasions that round red 
spot, with a hole in the centre, called " a flea bite." The learned 
flea in question, however, was not favoured with such a delicate 
morsel as a mouthful from the limb of a young lady, but took its 
meals from the plump and juicy arms of Mr. Boverick himself, 
who fed it carefully with his own blood, and at night kept it 


snugly domiciled in a little box lined with soft velvet and select 
silken caddis, by which attentions it came to be on friendly and 
intimate terms with its master. 

Glasgow Journal^ 5th January 1764. — "To the lovers of real curiosities. — 
This is to acquaint the nobihty, gentry, and others, that the brother of the 
famous Mr. Zucker, a high German (who has gained such universal applause), 
is just come to town, and will perform at James Buchanan's, at the White 
Hart, in the Gallowgate,^ on Friday the 6th instant, and continue to do so 
every day. The door to be opened at eleven forenoon, and begin exactly 
half-an-hour after, and ends at one ; and in the evening at half an hour after 
six, and ends at eight. He had the honour to perform his surprising feats 
of arts, Avith general approbation, before the Royal family, nobility, and 
gentry, at the great concert room in Panton Street, London, for near two 
years successively. He has brought with him the most amazing learned little 
horse from Courland, whose wonderful knowledge is not to be paralleled by any 
animal in this kingdom, or perhaps in the whole world. He wants only 
speech. As a specimen of his abilities, we shall mention the following par- 
ticulars, viz. — He makes a polite and curious compliment to the company ; 
tells the value of anything which is shown to him ; he plays at cards, and finds 
the place where the card is hid ; shows by a watch the hour of the day, and 
understands arithmetic ; he distinguishes ladies from gentlemen ; he under- 
stands the almanack, and demonstrates the day of the month ; he plays at 
dice, and is always sure to win ; he drinks the company's health like a human 
person ; his master borrows a piece of money of one of the company, and 
throws it on the floor ; the horse takes it up, and returns it to the person that 
lent it ; when he is told that he is to leave the empire or go to the Grand 
Turk he shams lame, and walks about the room as cripple ; but when he is 
told he shall be excused, he immediately recovers, makes his compliments on 
his knees, and thanks the company. The master himself will likewise 
entertain the company with many curiosities. He turns two dishes at once 
in so dexterous a manner as gives pleasure and surprise to the spectators. 
There will be given an entertainment on the musical glasses, and also on 
common drinking glasses, several tunes. Amongst others — ' Tweedside,' 
'Corn Riggs are Bonny,' 'Hearts of Oak,' ' Artaxerxes,' 'Voi Amanta,' &c., 
&c. Price, one shilling." 

Of all quadrupeds subject to the rule of man there are none 
so valuable as the horse ; he is not only extremely docile, but is 
also the fleetest of all animals, and capable of running down 
the winged ostrich itself. The famous racehorse, Childers 

^ This inn then stood without the Gallowgate Port. In 1754 Robert Tennent 
occupied it, but having built the Saracen's Head Inn in 1755 he removed to that large 
inn, and the White Hart Inn came to be occupied by James Buchanan. 


(commonly called the Flying Childers), ran the long course at 
Newmarket in 7|- minutes. This course was exactly 4 miles 
and 380 yards, so that he ran at the rate of more than 49 feet in 
a second. At every bound he covered a space of upwards of 24 

The little learned horse in question, although of German breed, 
might have been taken for one of our small Highland shelties, 
and, owing to its diminutive size, seemed very suitable for ex- 
hibition in a room so contracted as the one in the White Hart, 
where it was shown. 

Perhaps some of your elderly readers may remember that 
an attempt was made in the theatre, Dunlop Street, to give a 
representation of the Newmarket races. Part of the pit was then 
laid off to form a racecourse, and there the starting-post was 
placed. The course itself extended to the extremity of the stage. 
The racehorses consisted of two diminutive Shetland ponies, 
which were mounted by two smart boys, in full jockey costume. 
The race consisted of three courses, and, to all appearance, the 
boys exerted their utmost abilities to be first at the goal. The 
course, however, was greatly too short and too narrow for such an 
exhibition ; and, besides, the feet of the horses made a disagreeable 
clattering noise in racing, in consequence of the foundations of the 
said course having been composed of deal boards, which yielded 
to the weight of the horses and the riders as they ran along : this 
took away all idea of a race upon the turf. On the whole, the 
exhibition was a failure, and has never since been repeated. 

There have been several exhibitions in Glasgow of learned 
dogs — some of which, I have no doubt, were seen by many of your 
readers. All these dogs performed similar feats to those of the 
above-mentioned learned horse ; but there was one very intelli- 
gent dog shown in my day, which, besides telling the time by a 
watch, finding out hidden money, and doing the usual sagacious acts 
of learned animals, also spelled any common word proposed by the 
company. The letters of the alphabet were printed on loose slips 
and laid upon the floor of the room, and when any person of the 
company requested the dog to spell a particular word of common 
conversation, the show-master addressed the dog, desiring him to 


spell the word then named, which the dog did by drawing from 
the alphabet lying on the floor the letters constituting the word 
required to be spelled ; words, however, which were uncommon or 
difficult to spell were excepted. 

I remember of being present on one of these occasions, when 
a gentleman of the company asked the dog to spell the word 
" Antigua." The show-master said that that was rather a hard 
word for a dog to spell, but he would try what could be done ; 
and accordingly he told the dog that a gentleman in the room 
wished the word "Antigua" to be spelled, on which the dog pro- 
ceeded to the loose slips of the alphabet lying on the floor of the 
room, and with his paw drew out from amongst them the capital 
letters " Antigua," to the great delight of the company. This I 
myself saw done. 

According to Bailey, the longest word in the English language 
is " Honorificabilitudinity," but I am afraid that the spelling of 
this word would be beyond the most profound canine sagacity. 
How droll it would sound to say that such a man is a person 
of the greatest "honorificabilitudinity"! or to call him by the 
name of " Mr, Honorificabilitudinitas " (see Bailey) ; but how- 
ever difficult it may appear to pronounce this jaw-breaking word, 
nevertheless, from the following advertisement it will be seen that 
a "learned pig" was exhibited in Glasgow which was capable of 
joining together the letters which form this polysyllable. 

Although none of your readers may have seen a " learned 
flea," I believe that many of them have viewed with admiration 
the pranks of a " learned horse," for there have been more than 
one exhibition of this kind in Glasgow in the course of the last 
eighty years ; few of these performances, however, were at all 
equal to those of the learned little pig undernoted : — 

Glasgow Mefciiry, 9th May 1787. — "Among the infinite number of 
curiosities hitherto offered to the inspection and attention of the public, there 
are none which lay so great a claim to our attention and approbation as the 
wonderful and astonishing performances of the ' learned pig' now exhibiting in 
Mr. Frazer's Dancing Hall, M'Nair's Land, King Street, from eleven o'clock, 
forenoon, to three in the afternoon, and from five to nine at night, where it 
may be seen this and every day in the ensuing week, at the expiration of 
which the proprietor is under engagement to set off for Edinburgh. 



" This most singular phenomenon is one of the many surprising instances 
of the ingenuity of Mr. Nicholson — a man who is possessed of an exclusive 
and peculiar power over the most irrational part of animated nature. Many 
of the first personages in the three kingdoms have been witnesses to his 
persevering temper and patience in the tuition of beasts, birds, etc., in a degree 
that has seldom fallen to the lot of human infirmity. To evince this, we need 
only mention his having in his lifetime taught a turtle to fetch and carry 
articles at his pleasure ; his overcoming the timidity of a hare by making her 
beat a drum ; his perfectimg six turkey-cocks in a regular country dance ; his 
completing a small bird in the performance of many surprising feats ; his 
having taught three cats to strike several tunes on the dulcimer with their 
paws, and to imitate the Italian manner of singing ; but above all, his conquer- 
ing the natural obstinacy and stupidity of a pig, by teaching him to unite the 
letters of any person's name, to tell the number of persons present in the room 
and the hour and minute by any watch, &c. &c. This singular creature may 
justly be deemed the greatest curiosity in the kingdom, and the proprietor 
makes no doubt but he will give that satisfaction, and receive that approbation, 
from the ladies and gentlemen of this city, &c. &c., which he has done in 
London and Edinburgh. Admittance, 6d each." 

Had Pope seen this learned pig, perhaps he would not have 
written — 

" How instinct varies, in the grov'lling swine, 
Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine ! 
'Twixt that and reason, what a nice barrier, 
For ever separate, yet for ever near." 

I paid my sixpence and witnessed the above-mentioned per- 
formances, which I must confess were truly very extraordinary, 
more especially knowing how obstinate and intractable an animal 
a pig is. 

These performances were very similar, and quite equal to those 
exhibited by the learned horse and learned dog ; but still the 
great drawback to the pleasure of the show was the incongruity of 
making a pet of a pig in a handsome room, while the natural 
element of the animal is the cloaca. A Roman author has justly 
written — 

"Volutatio in luto est Suum requies, ut lavatio hominum." 

Mons. Buffon has stated that the hog is the most impure and 
filthy of all animals, and is naturally stupid, inactive, and drowsy ; 
that all its habits are gross ; all its appetites nauseous ; all its 


sensations confined to a furious lust and a brutal gluttony. It 
devours indiscriminately everything that comes in its way — even its 
own progeny, the moment after their birth. Who could fondle with 
pleasure such an animal, however learned ? 

During the time that this learned pig was in the progress of 
exhibition, I was attending our Glasgow Grammar School, when 
the following Latin saying used to be handed to the tyros for 
translation — it admitting of a double meaning — "Men Mater Sus 
estl' which may be translated either, " My mother is a sow," or 
" Run, mother, the sow is eating." ^ 

But from these shows of the lower class of animals I must 
depart, and now advert to some exhibitions of a higher description 
of beings — I mean Giants. We are informed by the Scripture 
that " giants were produced" from the marriages of the " sons of 
God" with the "daughters of MEN ;" but we have no account of 
the dimensions of this mongrel race, nor of any valiant deeds 
which they performed : I therefore leave it to our learned Hebrew 
commentators to explain this mysterious passage. 

In the Glasgozv Mercury of iith January 1781 there is the 
following advertisement : — 

" By Permission. 

" Just arrived in this City, and to be seen at Mr. Heron's, at 

" the Bull, the surprising 

" Irish Giant, 

*' Only twenty years old, yet measures eight feet high, who is allowed to 

be the most extraordinary man for size and proportion that ever appeared in 

Europe. Admission, is each. Hours of admittance, from eleven in the 

forenoon till three in the afternoon, and from four till nine o'clock at night. 

To continue one week only." 

The giant seems to have been very well pleased with his 
reception in Glasgow, for in the ensuing paper of the i8th of 
January we find the following intimation : — 

"January 17, 1781. — The Irish Giant presents his most respectful compli- 

1 The following scrap of Latin was also another of the Grammar School puzzles of 
my early clays: — "Malo, malo, malo, malo, malo, malo, malo, quam dente vento 
occurrere." The translation of which is — " I would rather meet with a bad apple with 
a bad tooth, than a bad mast with a bad wind." 


ments to the ladies and gentlemen of Glasgow, and desires to inform them 
that (by permission) he intends to remain at his lodgings, at the Bull, one 
week from the date hereof." 

I did not see this giant, and therefore cannot give any par- 
ticular description of him. The exhibition, however, was pretty 
well attended by the public. 

On the 2 1st October 1784 the Glasgow Mercury announces 
as follows : — 

" Irish Giants. — The most gigantic Twin Brothers are just arrived in this 
city, and to be seen at Mr. Brown's Auction Room, head of Saltmarket, from 
eleven in the forenoon till three in the afternoon, and from four in the after- 
noon till nine at night, every day (Sunday excepted). These wonderful Irish 
Giants are but 24 years of age, and measure very near eight feet high. These 
truly amazing phenomena are indisputably the most astonishing productions 
of the human species ever beheld since the days of Goliath. 

" Their amazing size does not more agreeably surprise the curious spectator, 
than their proportion, in every respect, to their stupendous height, a circum- 
stance seldom to be found in any extraordinary production of nature. Their 
stay is but short. 

"Admittance to ladies and gentlemen, one shilling. Servants, &c., six- 

Although these giants gave themselves out to be nearly eight 
feet high, they were in fact only about seven feet and a half in 
height, and were not patronised so much by the public as the 
giant of 1 78 1, who was a trifle taller than they were.-^ 

I did not attend this exhibition ; but, some time afterwards, I 
visited the show of another giant, whose name, I think, was 
O'Brian, who was considerably taller than any of the above- 
mentioned giants. He advertised himself to be eight feet and a 
half high. The room in which he showed himself appeared to 
me to have been about ten feet high, and I saw him rest his arms 
akimbo on the top of the door, while his head and shoulders 
appeared above the door. Notwithstanding of his immense 
height, he had not the least appearance of a giant, for his body 
was lank and thin ; his shoulders contracted ; his legs and arms, 

^ Big Sam, once well known on the streets of Glasgow, was only about seven feet 
high, but he was a perfect giant in his proportions, every part of his body being of gigan- 
tic dimensions — his shoulders, arms, and legs were truly massive, as the limbs of an ox. 
He became porter to the Prince of Wales, at Carlton House. 


though extremely long, were slender and iinmuscular ; while, on 
the other hand, his hands and feet were out of all proportion to 
his body, being of most enormous dimensions. I attempted to 
span his thumb with my hand, but could not encircle it, for its 
circumference was nearly equal to that of my own arm at the 
wrist. I measured the size of his hand by my own, and found 
that his hand reached from the tip of my fingers to the joint of 
my elbow — a space of more than a foot. In short, however, this 
giant appeared to have been merely what we call a laiig, loupin^ 
shacJilin, spifidle- shank, suddenly overgrown, clownish in his 
appearance, and vulgar in his manners. While I was standing 
looking at him, a little miss came close to me, but seeing the 
gaunt giant approaching, she got alarmed and ran behind me for 
protection, which the giant observing, he held out his immense 
paw to her, exclaiming — "Be not afraid, miss, for I am quite 

I doubt if there has ever been related, on satisfactory record, 
any instance of a man having been taller than this giant, suppos- 
ing him to have been eight feet and a half in height, as he adver- 
tised himself. We know from history that the Emperor Maximin 
was a little above eight feet in stature, and Scripture tells us that 
Goliath's "height was six cubits and a span;" but the Jewish 
cubit and span, like our own palm, step, and barley-corn, were 
merely approximating measures. Dr. Johnson says that the cubit 
is a measure of a foot and a half ; Crabb states that it is one foot 
nine inches ; while Bailey thus writes — " Cubit is a Scripture 
measure about five English feet nine inches, and 888 decimal parts." 
According, therefore, to Bailey, Goliath must have been thirty-five 
feet high. I have seen an antiquarian disquisition regarding 
the height of Goliath, which concluded by supposing him to have 
been rather above eight feet. We learn from Scripture that King 
David, who was a little man, took the sword of Goliath, as fitting 
him to a hair ; for he says to the priest, regarding Goliath's sword, 
"There is none like that — give it me." Now, if King David 
could wield the sword of Goliath with ease, the inference is that 
Goliath was not quite a Titan. 

Having thus taken notice of the shows in Glasgow where 


giants were exhibited, I shall now proceed to give some account 
of the show of dwarfs which took place in our city in olden time. 

The Romans were passionately fond of dwarfs, insomuch that 
they used artificial methods to prevent the growth of boys, whom 
they designed for dwarfs, by enclosing them in boxes, or by the 
use of tight bandages, as the Chinese do to the feet of their 
females, for the purpose of obstructing their enlargement. Such 
methods, however, of distorting nature are unknown to our 
countrymen. I have seen various shows of dwarfs, but in almost 
every instance these " manikins," ^ besides their small size, were 
deformed in some way or other, some parts of their frame being 
generally out of proportion to other parts of it. The only dwarf 
that I ever saw whose relative proportions were good was the 
celebrated Count Borulawski. I have had the pleasure not only 
of seeing but also of conversing with this little mannoc, whom I 
found to be a gentleman of highly-polished manners, possessing 
great conversational powers, and a ready wit, united to a sound 
judgment and excellent memory. 

Count Borulawski was the son of a Polish nobleman, attached 
to the fortunes of King Stanislaus, who lost his property in con- 
sequence of that attachment, and who had six children, three 
dwarfs and three well grown. What is singular enough, they were 
born alternately, a big one and a little one, though both parents 
were of the common size The little count's sister was much less 
than him, but died at the age of twenty-three. The Count con- 
tinued to grow till he was about thirty. When I saw him he was 
upwards of fifty years of age, and was then only thirty-eight inches 
high. At the age of forty-one he married a lady of his own 
country, but of French extraction, and of the middle size. This 
marriage was not a happy one, and involved the Count in great 
care and perplexity, as he had to provide for a family of three 
children, all daughters but none of them dwarfs. To maintain 
this establishment became an object of great difficulty, and re- 

^ In estimating the relative size of "man," the English language has only two 
degrees of comparison, viz. "man, manikin ;" but in Scotland we have three degrees 
of -comparison of the said word, viz. "man, mannie, mannoc;" also, "Lad, laddie, 
laddoc ; lass, lassie, lassoc," &c, 


quired the utmost exertion of his powers and talents, of which 
music alone afforded any view of profit. He played extremely 
well upon the guitar, and pretty tolerably upon the violin. He 
therefore commenced giving concerts in the principal cities in 
Germany, and was patronised by the different princes of the 
empire, who admitted him to great personal familiarity, which 
was followed by a like familiarity on the part of the nobility at 
these German courts. As an instance how easy he was in his 
intercourse with the great, it may be stated that one day, while he 
was sitting in familiar chit-chat alongside of the celebrated Maria 
Theresa, Empress of Germany and Queen of Hungary, he hap- 
pened to cast his eye upon a brilliant diamond ring upon the 
finger of the Empress, which her majesty observing, she asked the 
Count if he was admiring her ring, " No, please your Majesty," 
replied the Count, " I am not admiring the ring, but I am admir- 
ing the beautiful white hand which wears the ring." The Empress 
laughed heartily at the Count's polite and witty reply, and in 
return said — " Well, Count, the ring is too large for your finger, 
but I will find one to suit ;" and so calling to her daughter, Marie 
Antoinette (afterwards the unfortunate Queen of France), then a 
child, she took a ring from the child's finger and placed it on the 
finger of the Count as a souvenir. 

Although Count Borulawski gave public concerts ostensibly 
as musical entertainments, in point of fact these concerts were 
merely a cover for exhibiting his person. The Count felt the 
greatest repugnance at making himself a public show for money, 
considering the same as derogatory to his dignity, and therefore 
it was not till dire necessity compelled him to expose himself to 
public view for gain as a spectacle that he adopted that course. 

Having traversed Germany, and having given concerts at all 
the courts of the German princes, the Count resolved to make a 
similar musical tour in Russia, and accordingly set out for that 
country under the impression that he would find a population 
there as civilised as that of Germany. And, strange to say, he 
went to Finland, and from thence to Nova Zembla, for the pur- 
pose of giving public concerts in these wild regions, but, of course 
without success. From Nova Zembla he went to Archangel, and 


gave a concert there with some trifling good fortune. Leaving 
Archangel, he travelled through the wilds of Siberia, and along 
the north-eastern coast of Russia, till he arrived at Kamtchatka, 
where he astonished the natives with his concert. From thence 
he proceeded south till he arrived at Astracan, where he also 
gave a concert, and with tolerable success. 

He now travelled through various parts of Asiatic Turkey, 
giving concerts wherever he thought he could attract an audience, 
but the profits of his musical entertainments were found to be 
very trifling, and therefore he bent his course back to Vienna, 
where he met his former patrons, who strongly advised him to 
turn his thoughts towards England, where it was believed that 
the public curiosity might in a little time benefit him sufficiently to 
enable him to live independently in so cheap a country as Poland. 
Accordingly his friends furnished him with recommendations to 
the Duchess of Devonshire, the Duchess of Rutland, and other 
English celebrities of the time, whose kind patronage the Count 
most gratefully acknowledged. Through them he was introduced 
to the Prince of Wales, and to other branches of the Royal 

When in London he was strongly advised to let himself be 
seen as a curiosity, to which he most reluctantly consented ; but 
he then fixed the price of admission at a guinea, which prevented 
his visitors being numerous. After a pretty long stay in London, 
he, from necessity, came to the resolution of travelling about from 
place to place, at a small price of admission ; and accordingly 
he went to Bath and Bristol, where he met with brilliant success. 
From thence he visited Dublin and other parts of Ireland, and 
afterwards travelled to Edinburgh, Glasgow, etc., returning to 
London by way of Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham. In 
every place he was received with the greatest eclaty and made a 
most lucrative tour ; but on one or two occasions during the pro- 
gress of this tour his profits were greatly lessened by the unfor- 
tunate arrival of the learned pig at the same towns where he was 
exhibiting himself, and consequently the manikin and the learned 
pig became competing parties. Perhaps nowadays they would 
have avialgainatcd ! 


When I saw the Count, the price of admission, I think, was 
only I s., and the attendance at his levees was then very numerous. 

I remember very well that when the Count was exhibiting 
himself at Glasgow as a show a report became current in the 
city of a quarrel having taken place between the Count and his 
wife, and that the latter, being overcome with passion, and forget- 
ful of her duty as a wife, had taken up the Count in her arms, 
and placed him on the mantelpiece of the room, and there left 
him, so that the little man ran the most imminent risk of falling 
and breaking his neck. The report went on to say that the 
Count was obliged to make use of many endearing expressions 
and much coaxing before the angry wife consented to relieve him. 
At one of the Count's levees in Glasgow a vulgar visitor had the 
rudeness to ask him if this story was true. The Count replied 
that it was too unpolite to require an answer, and indignantly 
turned his back upon the impertinent querist. 

While the Count was in Glasgow, Humphrey Crombie, Esq., 
merchant (cousin of the late Mr. Ewing of Strathleven), invited 
him to dinner, which invitation was accepted. Just as the com- 
pany were about to sit down to the dinner-table, the Count asked 
Mr. Crombie for the loan of his family Bible, which request was 
immediately complied with. Mr. Crombie, knowing that the 
Count was a Roman Catholic, supposed that he was going to 
read some passage from the Scriptures before he took his seat at 
table ; the Count, however, instead of doing so, placed the large 
family Bible on the seat of his chair, jocularly remarking that he 
liked to rest on a good and sure foundation. In fact, without the 
elevation afforded by the large Bible, the Count's face would just 
have been flush with the surface of the dining-table. 

Mr. Crombie informed me that he found the Count to be a 
most intelligent and amusing personage, possessing much vivacity 
and ready wit, and quite a treat as a guest at the social board. 

Besides his native language, the Count spoke the French 
language fluently, and the English language pretty well for a 
foreigner. In his person he was pleasing and graceful ; and his 
looks, notwithstanding of his small size, were manly and engaging. 
He dressed like a Frenchman, with powder and pigtail, rings and 



ruffles, etc. By making a show of himself for some time through- 
out Britain, he acquired a moderate competency ; and as it had 
always been with the greatest reluctance that he had so exhibited 
himself, he now resolved to retire from public view, and to spend 
the remainder of his days in privacy. Accordingly, he settled in 
Durham, where he lived many years as a private gentleman, 
much respected. 

I think he died there about forty years ago, upwards of 
seventy years of age. The following was one of the Count's 
advertisements : — 

"Glasgow, 3d May 1789. — Count Borulawski presents his respectful 
compliments to the ladies and gentlemen of Glasgow and the neighbourhood, 
will esteem himself honoured with their company to a public breakfast, at the 
Assembly Room, on Friday the 8th instant, at 12 o'clock, in the course of 
which the Count will perform some select pieces on the guitar. Tickets to be 
had at the Count's lodgings, Argyll Street, opposite Stockwell, or at the Room, 
at 3s 6d each." 

I shall now make a short digression, and take notice of a 
still more curious instance of an extraordinary dwarf Jeffery 
Hudson, the famous English dwarf, was born in 1 6 1 9, and at about 
the age of seven was only eighteen inches high. He was retained 
in the service of the Duke of Buckingham, and while there (soon 
after the marriage of Charles L), the King and Queen being 
entertained at Burleigh by the Duke, little Jeffery was served up 
to table in a cold pie ! 

" When the pye was opened, 
The dwarf began to fling ; 
And was not this a dainty dish 
To set before the King?" — Old Rhyjnes. 

It is a curious circumstance that from seven years of age till 
thirty Jeffery never grew taller ; but after thirty he shot up to 
three feet nine inches, and there fixed. Being provoked by the 
sarcasms of a Mr. Crofts, a man of family, a challenge and duel 
with pistols ensued, when Jeffery at the first fire shot his antagonist 
dead. He was afterwards made a captain in the Royal army, and 
in 1644 attended the Queen to France. He returned at the Re- 
storation, and ended his life in the sixty-third year of his age. 


But returning from this digression, I have now to take notice 
of a show in Glasgow where a dwarf was exhibited of nearly as 
small dimensions as Count Borulawski, though far from being so 
interesting as the Count was. Along with him was also exhibited 
a lady, born without arms, who made use of her toes with great 
dexterity in place of fingers, as the following advertisement 
intimates : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 24th February 1785. — "To all who are admirers of 
extraordinary productions of nature. — Just arrived, and to be seen by any 
number of persons in Mr. Brown's Auction Room, near the head of the Salt- 
market, from eleven in the morning till nine in the evening. 

The Surprising Dwarf, 

" He is only 23 years of age, and not 39 inches high. 

" His surprising smallness makes a striking impression at first sight on the 
spectator's mind ; his countenance and figure are extremely agreeable, and his 
manner and address give general satisfaction. 

" N.B. — He is the shortest person that has ever been exhibited to the Public. 


A Young Lady (from Newfoundland), 

Born without Arms. 

"This curious phenomenon of nature, without hands, cuts watch-papers 
with her toes in the neatest manner, and presents them to gentlemen and 
ladies ; threads the finest needle ; does any part of needlework ; and marks 
initial letters on linen to great perfection. 

" A^i?.— They will remain in this city till Wednesday the 23d current, and 
no longer. Admittance to Ladies and Gentlemen, One Shilling ; Tradesmen 
and Children, Sixpence. 

"Glasgow, Feb. 17, 1785." 

I attended this exhibition ; but after having seen Count 
Borulawski, I felt greatly disappointed at the sight of the dwarf 
mentioned in the above advertisement. He had nothing manly 
in his appearance ; on the contrary, he seemed like a child dressed 
up with the habiliments of a full-grown man. His features were 
soft, and his manners, though good, could easily have been taught 
to a clever child : in short, many of the visitors doubted his age 
being 23, as stated by him, and suspected that he was not the 
one half of that period of life, and that, in fact, he was only a 


smart child, possessing the countenance and manners of a grown- 
up person. The public therefore felt little interest as to this 
dwarf, but they showed great curiosity in regard to the lady born 
without arms, whose wonderful dexterity in the use of her toes 
caused not only great astonishment but much merriment to the 
beholders. I must confess, however, that the appearance of this 
lady (whose name, I think, was Morgan) was by no means pleasant, 
for although she was destitute of arms, nevertheless there was a 
fleshy protuberance or stump in lieu of them at each shoulder. 
These were nakedly exposed to the view of the company, and the 
sight of them was rather revolting than agreeable. Her counte- 
nance, however, was pretty good, and her manners lively and easy. 
She sat upon a cushion, with her feet bare ; and it was truly 
surprising to see with what ease she used her toes in threading 
a needle, in hemming handkerchiefs, in embroidering, and in 
doing other feats of needlework. She was equally skilful in the 
management of her scissors and the use of her pen. I had the 
honour of receiving a watch-paper from this lady, neatly cut out 
by her with scissors, praesto pollice. 

Anatomists allege that parties who are greatly deformed very 
seldom have a progeny ; but I understood that this lady, after 
leaving Glasgow, got married, and had a family of children, who 
were all well formed and healthy. 

There are several instances on record, and well authenticated, 
of persons having been born without arms. Francis North, son 
of Samuel North, born without arms, his hands growing out of his 
shoulders, was baptised 4th July 16 19. — {Parish Register of 

John Simmons, a native of Berkshire, born without arms or 
hands, could write with his mouth, thread a needle, tie a knot, 
shuffle, cut, and deal a pack of cards, etc. ; he was shown in 
public in 1653. — {Bulwer's Changeling, p. 1168.) 

Thomas Pinnington, a native of Liverpool, bom without legs 
or arms, was publicly exhibited in 1744. He, like Simmons, 
could perform various extraordinary feats with his mouth. 

I believe that there are other instances on record of persons 
having been born without arms, but none of them appear to have 


made use of their toes in lieu of hands, Hkc the lady of the fore- 
going advertisement. 

The following notice of a show in Glasgow, of another 
description, attracted considerable attention amongst the young- 
sters of the city, who could not help comparing themselves with 
this hairy biped, and thanking their stars that Heaven had formed 
them otherwise: — 

<' Glasgow, 29/'/^ April 1779. 

" Just Arrived in this City, 

*' And to be seen at Mr. Dick's Dancing Hall, Trongate, 

" (Opposite to the head of the Old Wynd,) 

" The Ethiopian Savage. 

" This astonishing creature, when he stands erect, is near five feet high, 
and is a striking resemblance of the human species. His ears are small, but 
have large apertures, so that he is extremely quick of hearing ; his cheeks are 
ribbed, and of a fine blue ; his nose and nostrils of a beautiful scarlet ; his fore 
feet are like the arms and hands of a man, and grow gradually taper till they 
come to the wrist, and he uses his fingers with surprising facihty. His body 
is covered with a fine long hair, perfectly smooth on the surface, and beauti- 
fully variegated from a light to a dark brown. His posteriors are amazingly 
tinctured with blue and scarlet, and he sits on them, in a very pleasing and 
majestic attitude, to receive and eat his food. His beard is extremely remark- 
able, for it is like that of a person in years, and of great strength. He is very 
affable, and obedient to the commands of his keeper, who can even sleep by 
his side in safety. This wonderful creature is a fine display of Nature's amazing 
productions, and is allowed to be the greatest curiosity in England. 

' Here fix thy searching eye, whoe'er thou art ; 
Here view th' Almighty's work in every part, 

And trace its wondrous nature. 
Mark well the skilful portrait. How divine 
Each view discovers of God's grand design 
To form a like to man, in such a creature.'" 

I did not see this Ethiopian Savage, as he arrived in Glasgow 
just as our family were departing to our summer quarters at 
Dunoon, which place then (1779) was altogether a Highland 
village, as thus stated by me in Glasgow, Past and Present, vol. i. 
p. 422 :— 

" When I now look around the shores of Dunoon, from the Holy Loch to 
the point of Toward, and see them studded with the splendid villas of my 


fellow-citizens, it appears curious to recall to my recollection the bygone 
days when these lands were lying in a state of nature, and when our family 
was the only one spending in amusement the summer months on the whole 
line of that coast." 

Dunoon, in its then primitive state, appeared to me to be a sort 
of paradise, and soon made me forget the Ethiopian Savage. 

The following advertisement gives notice of the arrival in 
Glasgow of a show, where the public were to see great natural 
curiosities : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 9th February 1790. 

" The Wonders of Nature. 

" To the Nobility, Gentry, and the Curious, who are fond of inspecting the 
most extraordinary Human Beings of the wild species ever born. 

" There will be seen, in a large room in Andrew Dunbar's, King's Arms, 
Trongate, from ten in the morning till nine at night, Three wonderful Pheno- 
mena, know by the name of Monstrous Craws, wild born, and of the Human 
Species. There are two Males and a Female, of a very small stature, being 
little less or more than four feet high ; each with a Craw under his throat ; 
containing within some Three, some Four, and some Five Balls or Glands as 
large as eggs, and which play upwards and downwards in their Craws, accord- 
ing as incited, and forced, either by their speaking or laughing. 

" These three most wonderful wild born Human Beings, whose country, 
language, and native customs are yet unknown to all mankind, it is supposed, 
started in some canoes from their native place (believed in some unknown, 
remote land in South America), and were picked up by a Spanish vessel, 
which in a violent storm was lost, when these three people, and another of the 
same kind, since dead, were providentially saved from perishing. At that 
period they were of a dark olive complexion ; but which has astonishingly, by 
degrees, changed to the colour of that of Europeans. 

"These three truly surprising Beings have attracted to themselves the 
most minute attention and great admiration of all the Princes, celebrated 
Anatomists and Naturalists to whom they have been presented in Europe, for 
their rare, and yet unknown species ; and not less, indeed, for their most appa- 
rent and surprising happiness, and content among themselves, most endearing 
tractableness and respectful demeanour towards all strangers, as well as for 
their unparalleled, and natural, cheerful, lively, and merry disposition, singing 
and dancing (in their most extraordinary way) at the will and pleasure of the 

" The Indian Ambassadors, lately at Paris, were the personages who first in- 
spected them there, to which place they were purposely imported, and from whence 
they are now arrived here in their speedy passage to a Northern Kingdom. 

"Admittance — To Ladies and Gentlemen, one shilling ; Servants, sixpence ; 
Children, half-price." 


These monstrous craws, as they were called, appeared to have 
been merely three poor diminutive creatures, most grievously 
afflicted with the disease called cretinism, which is a malady of 
tumours or swellings on the fore part of the neck, seated between 
the trachea and the skin, termed, in French, "-goitre" but better 
known in this country by the Greek name of " bronchocchr 
Anatomists consider the disease to be a dropsical affection of the 
thyroid gland. The swellings are at first soft, without pain, or 
any evident fluctuation, and the skin retains its natural appear- 
ance ; but as the tumours advance in size they become unequally 
hard, the skin acquires a copper colour, and the veins of the neck 
become varicose ; the face becomes flushed, and is accompanied 
by stinging pains through the body of the tumours. 

In the EdinburgJi Medical and Surgical Journal, vol. v. p. 35, 
there is a plate of the skull of a cretin, who died at the age of 
thirty. The head is very large and the face small ; it is like the 
skull of an adult joined to the face of a child. Dr. Reeve, in his 
Dissertation on Cretinism, remarks " that the head of a cretin is 
generally deformed, his stature diminutive, his complexion sickly, 
his countenance vacant and destitute of meaning, his lips and 
eyelids coarse and prominent, his skin wrinkled and pendulous, 
his muscles loose and flabby. The quality of his mind corresponds 
to the deranged state of the body which it inhabits, and cretinism 
prevails in all the intermediate degrees, from excessive stupidity 
to complete fatuity." Such, then, were these so-called craws. 

The exhibition of the above-mentioned " wonders of nature" 
was not well attended in Glasgow, and the story about the ship- 
wreck in South America was not believed. As the advertisement 
mentions that the said craws were first purposely imported into 
Paris, it is probable that they were natives of some of the valleys 
of the Alps, where cretinism is a common disease, and where it is 
considered to be hereditary. It is also common on the French 
and Italian sides of the Alps, and was observed by Sir George 
Staunton in the alpine parts of Chinese Tartary. 

It appears by the following advertisements that about eighty 
years ago the Glasgow assemblies had got into great disrepute, 
the directors being obliged to tempt the fashionables of the city to 


attend them by introducing a musical child to perform select 
pieces of music between the dances by way of interludes. This is 
the only instance within my remembrance of a Glasgow assembly 
having become the vehicle of a " shozv." 

Glasgow Mercury^ 25th March 1779. 

" Glasgow Assembly. 

" The Assemblies of late have been so little frequented, that it begins to 
be doubted whether that kind of diversion is agreeable to the public, or 
whether the Gentlemen, by too intense an application to their Glass, may not 
have impaired their Locomotive Faculties. There is, however, to be a 
Dancing Assembly upon Thursday the first of April ; if it will be well attended 
they will be continued as formerly." 

It may be here remarked that the dancing assemblies had 
hitherto commenced at five o'clock in the afternoon. 

Glasgow J oicrnal^ l6th January 1777. — "NOTICE. — That an Assembly, 
in honour of the Queen's birth-day, is to be held in the Assembly Hall of 
Glasgow, on Monday the 20th of Jan. current, at five in the afternoon." 

On the 3 1st December 1779 the hour of meeting was changed 
from five in the afternoon to six o'clock. 

At this time the directors of the assemblies were the tobacco 
lords and their friends ; and Glasgow plebeians, however respect- 
able, were tabooed persons. A Glasgow shopkeeper of wealth and 
respectability, having applied to these aristocratic directors for 
tickets to an assembly for his wife and daughters, was haughtily 
told that their rank did not entitle them to attend assemblies. 
The consequence of such illiberal conduct is shown by the following 
advertisements : — 

Glasgow Mercury^ 27th January 1780. — "ASSEMBLIES. — The Dancing 
Assemblies are to be carried on this year by a General Subscription, it being 
found of late that the money taken at the door will not answer the expense, 
They are to be held regularly at the Roojns on Tuesday evenings once a 
fortnight during the season. 

" A book is opened, where Gentlemen may subscribe, at One Guinea each 
for the season, and lies for that purpose at Messrs. Campbell and Ingram's 
Insurance Office. 

" The ladies are to pay nothing. 


" Stranger gentlemen will be admitted on paying 2s 6d at the door of the 
room. No town's gentlemen will be admitted but subscribers. 

" There will be a Dancing Assembly on Tuesday the i st of February, to 
begin precisely at six o'clock. 

" N.B. — There will be Card Assemblies every alternate Tuesday evening, 
on the usual footing." 

From the above advertisement it will be seen that the aristo- 
cratic directors of these assemblies kept the freedom of admission 
to the said assemblies in their own hands, in so far as concerned 
Glasgow gentlemen. This was done for the purpose of exclud- 
ing the shopocracy of the city from mixing in the country dances 
with the wives and daughters of the great Virginian merchants. 
But in opposition to these exclusive assemblies others of a more 
liberal description, called balls, came to be established, where all 
distinction of ranks was thrown aside, and where the ease and 
freedom of a private merry meeting took place. Even the com- 
mon courtesies of previous introduction of one to another were 
seldom required ; and thus stranger gentlemen found no diffi- 
culty in getting partners at these balls. The said public dances 
originated with the teachers of music, who respectively on giving 
a public concert, finished the entertainment by establishing a 
general hop or ball for the company, and by providing suitable 
music for the dances. The following is an advertisement for one 
of those balls : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 2ist January 1779. — "NOTICE. — On Friday the 29th 
instant, will be performed, in the Assembly Hall, 

" Joshua Campbell's Concert of Music. 

"To begin at seven o'clock in the evening precisely. He will be assisted 
by the best performers in the town. 

" After the Concert will be a Ball. Tickets 2s 6d each." 

In the same manner, Goold, Dasti, Fergus, Reinagle, and 
other teachers of music in Glasgow, gave concerts, with concluding 
balls, which were numerously attended, and gave great satisfaction 
to the public. 

At this time the directors of the subscription assemblies, find- 
ing that these subscription entertainments were not generally 
patronised, and that they did not even pay expenses, were obliged 


in self-defence to institute more popular assemblies, called Rooms, 
to be held once a fortnight during the season. These assemblies 
or rooms were divested of many of the formalities and ceremonies 
of the above-mentioned subscription assemblies, and were intended 
to be considered in the light of free-and-easy hops, where full 
dress was not deemed absolutely necessary. In short, they were 
expected to be upon nearly as easy a footing as the balls of the 
music teachers. The price of admission was reduced to 2s., and 
for that sum tea was given to the company individually. 

Glasgow Mercury, ist February 1781. — "DANCING. — The Rooms will be 
held, as usual, to-night, at the Assembly Hall. Towards defraying the expense 
of painting the Hall, affording better music, and having Tea for the company, 
the price of admittance will be Two Shillings for each person ; to open at six 

Notwithstanding the introduction of those popular assemblies 
or " rooms " at a reduced price of admission, with the temptation of 
tea to each person, the public gave a preference to the balls of the 
music teachers, so that the subscription assemblies and the rooms 
became more and more neglected, in consequence of which the 
aristocratic directors found it necessary to try the effect of intro- 
ducing the performances of a musical child at one of their assem- 
blies, as a lure to public patronage ; but all their exertions were 
of no avail. 

Glasgow Mercury, 8th March 1781. — "Assembly Room. — The Directors 
of the Assembly Room, finding the late necessary advance in the price of 
admission to the Rooms has given offence to many Gentlemen and Ladies, 
and prevented their attending this amusement, as formerly, beg leave to inform 
the public, that in order to give them entertainment at as small an expense 
as possible, they have contracted with the Musical Child (who is just arrived 
in Town), to perform, for this night only, at the Rooms. The admittance to 
be only sixpence additional. 

" The Directors respectfully hope for the countenance of a generous and 
candid public, and at the same time assure them they will embrace every 
opportunity of this kind to procure them entertainment. They flatter them- 
selves the Gentlemen and Ladies will NOW SEE the Directors have nothing 
but the public good in view, and that the late rise in the price was owing to 
the painting the Room, and procuring them better Music, Tea, &c." 

It appears from the above advertisement that the reduction of 


the price of admission to the assemblies, or rooms, to 2s. includ- 
ing tea, did not succeed, and that the directors found it necessary 
to raise the rate of admittance to 2s. 6d. (as before) by adding 
a sixpence to the 2s. in order to defray expenses. Under these 
calamitous circumstances, the said directors, as a pis-aller were 
driven to the scheme of exhibiting a musical child at an assembly 
by way of a public sJiow. But all their exertions to keep up the 
exclusive Glasgow assemblies were of no avail ; for the American 
war at this time had crippled so many of the great city merchants 
that it was only the few holders of tobacco who continued to be 
the leading aristocracy of Glasgow. 

After the peace of America in 1783 the principal citizens of 
the place became West Indian merchants and manufacturers, and 
thus the former great distinction of ranks in Glasgow came to be 
relaxed, and the plebeians daily increasing in wealth and numbers, 
now took the ascendency. Perhaps no circumstance about this 
time tended so much to cause an intermixing of classes in the city 
of Glasgow as the opening of the Tontine Reading Room, where 
all classes daily met upon a state of perfect equality, and where 
the common practice among subscribers, of bespeaking from each 
other an exchange of newspapers, which the parties respectively 
might be reading, necessarily brought about mutual acquaintance- 
ship. The institution of the Chamber of Commerce in Glasgow 
at this period also tended to cause a mixture of ranks, many of 
its leading members being manufacturers, who had raised them- 
selves by their talents from the plebeian ranks. At the institution 
of the Chamber of Commerce of Glasgow in 1784, between 200 
and 300 individuals were enrolled as members, a great proportion 
of whom were cotton and linen manufacturers. The fees of 
admission were five guineas, and one guinea yearly, or twenty 
guineas in all for life. Patrick Colquhoun — the most popular of 
all the Lord Provosts of Glasgow — was the originator (in 1783) 
of the Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures. In 1789 he 
settled in London, and became Deputy-Lieutenant of Middlesex, 
and Chief Police Magistrate of the metropolis. 

When Provost of Glasgow, Mr. Colquhoun resided on the first 
floor of an old tenement in Argyll Street, with an outside stair 


which stood next to the late establishment of Wylie and Lochhead, 
No. 28. I remember this tenement, which was placed a little 
back from the general line of the street. The property belonged 
to my uncle, who bequeathed it to my cousin, a physician in 
London, giving him the option of either taking the said heritage 
or ;^400 in cash. The doctor elected to take the property, which 
he sold for £1 500. On its site the present buildings were erected. 

In my early days there was a saying attributed to Provost 
Colquhoun, which became quite a by -word in Glasgow. It so 
happened that in course of a public speech, in which the provost 
was apologising for some mistake committed by an official of the 
city, his lordship chanced to remark, " Even I myself have made 
a mistake ! ! ! " This lapsus was greedily seized upon by the wits 
of the city, and whenever a mistake occurred, out came the saying, 
" Oh, even I myself have made a mistake, as Provost Colquhoun 

But to return to the assemblies and musical child, it may be 
here remarked that the directors, in their advertisement of the 
performance of the said child, made use of a curious expression, 
thus — " Gentle7)ie7i and ladies will now see that the Directors have 
nothing but the public good in view." In the first place, it is not 
usual in assembly matters to place gentlemen before ladies ; and 
in the second place, it may be inferred from the word now, that 
the public had not hitherto seen that the directors had been 
studying the good of the public. But however these matters may 
appear, the performance of the musical child turned out quite a 
failure, and in consequence thereof this assembly came to be the 
last one held under the management and auspices of the old aris- 
tocratic directors, who seem to have resigned their authority in 
despair of success. 

During the time that Patrick Colquhoun was Lord Provost of 
Glasgow, in 1782 and 1783, there does not appear to have been 
any subscription assemblies as of old held in Glasgow, but the 
music teachers continued to give their balls in the Assembly Hall 
at the conclusion of their concerts, as formerly. 

The Old Assembly Hall was situated at the west end of the 
present Tontine Buildings. It was erected by subscription, as a 


joint-stock concern, by the higher class of Glasgow citizens and 
the neighbouring country gentry, who of course retained the 
management of it to themselves. It was sold to the Tontine 
Society, and its site now forms part of the Tontine Buildings. 
The directors, when concluding a sale of the old hall, stipulated 
that a new assembly hall should be erected in lieu of it, which 
accordingly was done by the Tontine Society in 1783 ; and the 
new hall then came to be exclusively used for public assemblies 
till 1796, when the Assembly Rooms in Ingram Street, now the 
Athenaeum, were built. 

The new hall, which formed part of the Tontine Buildings 
and Hotel, was 47 feet in length, 24 in breadth, and 24 in height. 
It was erected under the popular superintendence of Provost 
Colquhoun, to the entire satisfaction of all parties in Glasgow. 
In the course of its erection his lordship ordered a door to be 
struck out between the Town Hall and the said New Assembly 
Hall, in order that access might be given from the former to the 
Tontine Hotel, in cases of public entertainments being held in the 
said Town Hall. 

I may here mention (as stated in a former article) that soon 
after the New Assembly Hall had been erected I appeared on 
its boards, at a dancing-school ball, as " a Jacky Tar Figurant," 
dressed in the full costume of a sailor, with jacket and trousers, 
and a cudgel under my arm — all according to the dancing-school 
fashion of the time. Jacky Tar, with dress in character, was 
then a favourite dance for boys at the balls of Dick, Campbell, 
Fraser, and Sellars. Minuets were still taught at the dancing- 
schools, but were now seldom danced at the public balls. 

Just at the time (1781) when the subscription assemblies 
had lost the favour of the public, and had been found not to pay 
expenses, a scheme had been set on foot to erect a public build- 
ing at the Cross, by way of Tontine, in shares of ;^50 each. The 
principal proprietors of the Old Assembly Hall took shares in 
this new concern, and then entered into a negotiation to sell the 
Old Assembly Hall to the Tontine Society, upon the condition of 
a New Assembly Hall being erected in lieu of the old one. 

The following is an advertisement on the subject : — 


Glasgow Mercury, 25th October 1781. — " Notice. — The Directors of the 
Assembly Hall in Glasgow are desirous to meet with the Magistrates of the 
city in the laigh Council Chamber upon Wednesday the 31st day of October 
current, at one o'clock mid-day, to Treat with the Tontine Society for said 
Hall, and to concert upon a proper plan for building a New Assembly Hall. 
♦* Not to be repeated.'''' 

Hugh Wylie was then Provost of Glasgow, but he dying 
within four months thereafter — viz. 20th February 1782 — Patrick 
Colquhoun was elected Lord Provost, as his successor in office, on 
the 26th February 1782, being only six days after Mr. Wylie's 

The sums subscribed to the Tontine scheme having amounted 
to upwards of ;^5ooo, Provost Colquhoun was elected to take a 
general charge of seeing a suitable public building erected at the 
Cross, with a handsome Assembly Room attached thereto, both 
of which the Provost, with his usual energy and activity, very 
soon accomplished, to the entire satisfaction of the subscribers 
and of the public. By the following advertisement, the Tontine 
Buildings appear to have been ready for occupation at the end of 
the year 1782 : — 

Glasgow Journal, 21st November 1782. 

" To BE Let, 

" For one or more years, as can be agreed upon, 
" The following parts of the Buildings belonging to the Tontine Society : — 

" A large and elegant Room, to be occupied as a Coffee-Room. The 
present Assembly Room, with about twenty other apartments, to be occupied 
as a Tavern and Lodging Rooms. 

" Those who incline to rent the premises are desired, on or before the 20th 
of December next, to give in their proposals (sealed) to John Maxwell (Dar- 
gavel) the Society's Clerk, from whom further particulars may be learned. 

" N.B. — The whole to be Let to one person.'''' 

In consequence of this advertisement, the above-mentioned 
parts of the Tontine Buildings, consisting of the hotel, coffee- 
room, and assembly-room, were let to the well-remembered Mr. 
Smart, who immediately preceded to furnish the same, and there- 
after to commence the establishment of a daily ordinary, an insti- 
tution hitherto unknown in Glasgow. 


The following is Mr. Smart's announcement of this public 
ordinary : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 5th June 1783. — "Tontine. — Mr. Smart begs leave 
to inform the Gentlemen of Glasgow, and the public in general, that he wishes 
to establish an Ordinary, at one shilling each person. Time of Dining one 
quarter past three. To commence upon Monday next, the 9th of June, 

When Mr. Smart first put up his signboard of the Tontine Hotel, 
the lower ranks in Glasgow did not understand this new-fangled 
name to mean simply an inn, but supposed it to imply something 
much grander. They called it the Tontine Hottle ; and truly if 
it was to be considered as a model for a fine inn, they were not 
far wrong in their pronunciation. 

The opening of the Tontine Coffee-Room was a grand affair, 
and was inaugurated by the most splendid ball that had ever 
been seen in Glasgow, at which no distinction of ranks was re- 
garded. On this occasion there was a complete mixture of the 
county nobility and gentry with the city aristocracy and shopocracy, 
graced by the presence of the Lords of Justiciary, Justice-Clerk, 
and Hailes ; and the whole proceedings were most satisfactorily 
conducted under the able management of Mr. Smart, to the great 
delight of all present. 

The following are the only notices that I have found regard- 
ing this ball : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 6th May 1784. — "We have the pleasure to inform the 
pubhc that the new Coffee-Room in the Tontine Buildings will be opened 
during the Circuit for the reception of company ; and it is expected there will 
be an Assembly there on the evening of Thursday or Friday next week. The 
Dome of this large apartment is finished in a style particularly elegant, and 
has a very pleasing effect." 

Glasgow Mercury, 13th May 1784. — "This is to Give Notice, That there 
is to be an Assembly this evening in the New Coffee-Room in the Tontine 
Buildings, to begin at seven o'clock." 

The Glasgow newspapers of the time have given us no account 
of what took place at this grand ball ; but it was spoken of for 
many years afterwards by those who were present at it as the 
most brilliant assembly they had ever witnessed. 



I was then too young to attend assemblies ; but my brother, 
who was there, stated to us that the coffee-room was so densely 
crowded that there was scarcely room for dancing, but that 
everything was conducted with the greatest order and regu- 

When the coffee-room was first opened, there were boxes 
placed on each side of the entrance door — into which boxes 
parties wishing to take coffee or refreshments could retire ; and I 
have seen English travellers taking breakfast in them, while the 
upper part of the room was crowded with the subscribers. In a 
few years afterwards, however, the boxes were removed, owing to 
the want of patronage. 

Just about the time when the Tontine Hotel and Coffee- 
Room were opened, a native of Prussia, named Breslaw, made his 
appearance in Glasgow and there performed the most astonishing 
tricks of legerdemain that had ever been seen in Britain. He, 
undoubtedly, was the most accomplished sleight-of-hand performer 
of his day, and accordingly his exhibitions in Glasgow met with 
the greatest success. 

The following is his advertisement : — 

Glasgow Merairy, 15th January 1784. — "By letters from Edinburgh, we 
are informed that Mr. Breslaw closes his Exhibition there on Saturday next : 
and we are to assure the Public, that those Variety of New Entertainments 
will be displayed at Mr. Heron's great room in the Black Bull Inn, Glasgow, 
on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next, the 20th, 21st, and 22d instant, 
in the evenings, as follows : — 

1st, Several select pieces of Music; the First Violin by a foreign Young 
Lady, and Whistling the Notes by Sieur Arcalani. 

2d, A variety of Deceptions, quite new, by Mr. Breslaw, the particulars 

of which are expressed in the Bills. 
3d, A Solo on the Viohn by Miss Florella, who has had the honour 

lately of performing before their Majesties and the Royal Family ; 

and several Magical Card Deceptions by Sieur Andrea. 

4th, Several new experiments on Watches, Silver Medals, Small Chests, 
Gold Boxes, Caskets, Silver Machineries, etc., etc., by Mr. 

5th, The imitation of various Birds, by the New Venetian Rosignole, 
lately arrived from Naples. 


" The whole to conclude with a New Invented Silver Cup, and more than 
Fifty other Deceptions too numerous to insert. 

" The Room will be elegantly illuminated, warm, and commodiously pre- 
pared. — To begin at Seven o'clock. — Admittance Two shillings each person. — 
Tickets to be had ; Places to be taken ; or any Person inclined to Learn some 
Deceptions, they may be taught in a few minutes, on reasonable terms, by 
applying to Mr. Breslaw at the Place above mentioned. 

i^' Their stay here will be only a few days, as they are 
engaged to return to Edinburgh," 

It is perhaps needless to inform your readers that the success- 
ful performance of jugglery depends altogether upon the skill of 
the performer, and that it requires as much toil and labour to form 
an accomplished juggler as it has done to Blondin to become the 
pink of rope dancers, or to Paganini to have arrived at the honour 
of being the Prince of Fiddlers. But besides intense application to 
the study of the art, a certain ;?«/z/r«/ dexterity of hand is necessary 
to the juggler, as well as to the surgeon, otherwise neither of 
them can ever arrive at the top of their respective professions, 

I presume that most of your readers have seen numerous feats 
of legerdemain, which it is unnecessary here to recapitulate. If 
they will look into the Eucyclopcedia Britannica (article Leger- 
demain) they will find a long account of no less than eighteen 
pages, and plates, giving a statement of the sleight-of-hand tricks 
which were usually exhibited, with a full explanation of the modus 
operandi. But there was one trick that Breslaw performed, which 
he maintained to be the ne plus ultra of deceptions, and he defied 
any person to do the like. It was as follows : — 

1st. He desired one of the company to load a pistol, and to 
put a nail into it in lieu of shot. 

2d. He took a pack of cards, and requested one of the 
company to draw a card, to tear it in half, and to retain the 
one half, while at a candle he burned the other half of it, and 
placed its ashes in the centre of the pack. A board having been 
hung upon the wall of the room, Breslaw took the pistol in his 
hand, and then, throwing the whole pack in the air, fired off the 
pistol among the falling cards, when lo ! the nail was seen stuck 
into the board, with the half card which had been reduced to 
ashes transfixed to the board by the nail. The half card being 


removed, and compared with the other half retained by the visitor, 
was found to tally exactly. 

Towards the close of Breslaw's life, another celebrated sleight- 
of-hand performer appeared, of the name of Herman Boaz. 
Breslaw was of extravagant habits, and though he made great 
gains, he spent them as fast as he made them ; but Boaz, on the 
contrary, was a prudent, thrifty man, who took care to invest his 
profits in valuable securities. 

It happened one day that Boaz and Breslaw met at an inn, 
and had their glass together. In the course of their conversation 
Boaz thought, from some expressions, that Breslaw considered 
himself to be the superior of the two in point of jugglery, on 
which Boaz said to Breslaw that he could show him something in 
the legerdemain way quite beyond the power of Breslaw to do the 
like. Breslaw immediately offered to wager a bottle of wine that 
Boaz could not show him any performance by legerdemain which 
he could not himself perform upon the spot. Boaz took the 
wager, and having asked liberty to go to his bedroom for his 
materials, he soon returned to Breslaw, and spread upon the table 
bonds, bills, and stock securities for upwards of i^ 10,000, exclaim- 
ing, " There now, Mr. Breslaw. Behold ! the whole done by 
sleight-of-hand ! Show me if you can do the like?" Breslaw 
scratched his head, and laughing heartily, acknowlexlged that he 
had fairly lost the bottle of wine. 

Boaz was an expert angler, and when in Glasgow he used to 
resort to the Dalmamock fords a trout fishing. One day when 
there a gentleman was also present enjoying the same sport, who, 
seeing that Boaz was very successful, while he, on the contrary, 
was getting very few fish, accosted Boaz, and politely requested 
a sight of the flies which Mr. Boaz was using. His request was 
readily granted, but Boaz said that he did not think the quality 
of the flies of any importance, as he would show him. So, having 
caught a trout, Boaz requested the gentleman to cut the fins of 
the said fish as a mark, Boaz then threw the trout again into the 
river ; and, taking the gentleman's own rod, he, at the first throw 
of the line, brought back the identical marked fish, to the utter 
astonishment of the gentleman angler. 

VOL. III. 2 A 


When attending an exhibition of Boaz I found out the 
secret of one of his tricks. Boaz undertook to make every one 
who drew a card from a pack of cards to draw the very same 
card. Accordingly, having exhibited a regular pack of cards to 
the company with their faces exposed to view, he then shuffled 
the said pack, and desired any of the company to draw a card, 
and after it had been privily inspected, to restore it to the pack. 
On the occasion in question, about a score of the company drew 
each respectively a card from the pack, and then restored it. 
When Boaz presented the pack to me to draw a card, I attempted 
in vain to draw the lowest card of the pack, for Boaz continued 
shuffling the cards in so masterly a manner that I could not get 
hold of it, until at last I loudly said that I had fixed upon draw- 
ing the undermost card of the pack. I then obtained it, and saw 
it to be an honour. All the others of the company who had 
drawn cards found they had drawn the nine of diamonds. I then 
discovered that the trick consisted of changing by sleight-of-hand 
the original correct pack of cards, and substituting a pack consist- 
ing wJiolly of nines of diamonds, except the undermost of the 
pack, which being liable to be seen, had been made an honour. 
I however, kept silence, and did not announce my success to the 

Boaz was an honourable man, and generally refused to play 
at cards for money, saying that he could easily cheat if he pleased 
to do so, and therefore he chose to keep himself above suspicion. 

Shortly after this time there came to Glasgow an impudent, 
self-sufficient charlatan, called Dr. Katterfelto, who pretended to 
be deeply skilled in all kinds of knowledge, human and Divine, 
and who gave what he called philosophical lectures, accompanied 
by a display of the wonders of the solar microscope. His lectures 
were merely commonplace trash, but the exhibition of his solar 
microscope was certainly both curious and interesting. 

Katterfelto thus introduced himelf to the public of Glasgow in 
the newspapers : — 

" We are very happy to inform our readers that the Great Divine, and 
Moral Philosopher, DOCTOR KATTERFELTO, is to lecture for a few nights ; and 
as his stay at Glasgow is only for a few nights, we have, therefore, very great 


reason to believe, as the Doctor is such a surpfismg and luonderful Great 
Man, that many will come to see his most surprising and wonderful perform- 
ances, which surpass all description." 

Again : — 

"Glasgow, 23d June 1789. — Last week most of the gentlemen clergy 
in this city went to Fraser's Hall,i King Street, to hear that 

Great Divifie and Moral Philosopher, 
Dr. Katterfelto, lecture. They also went to see his Solar Microscope 
Exhibition. His performance, by all accounts, surpasses all description, and 
every other exhibition which has been in Glasgow these many years past ; 
and the ladies, in particular, are much entertained with his wonderful per- 
formances ; and he is crowded by them almost every night ; and the masters 
of the Masonic Societies heard one of his lectures last Wednesday night ; also, 
most of the Professors of the College had the curiosity of seeing the Doctor's 
wonderful exhibition, and some of his experiments last week ; and the Doctor, 
to-morrow night, Wednesday the 24th of June, is to deliver another lecture for 
the members belonging to the different Lodges in this city ; and as the 
admittance now is only one shilling each member, we have, therefore, great 
reason to believe he will be very much crowded all this week, for his Solar 
Microscope Exhibition, as well as the night's performance, by all ranks of 
persons, as this is to be the last week, the above great Divine, and Moral 
Philosopher is to lecture in this city." 

I attended Katterfelto's exhibition and saw the wonders of the 
solar microscope, which was the only part of the entertainment 
that was worth the price of admission. The solar microscope 
consisted of a tube, mirror, and convex lens. The sun's rays were 
reflected through the tube, by means of the mirror, upon the object 
to be viewed, the image or picture of which object was thrown 
distinctly and beautifully upon a white linen sheet, and could have 
been magnified to an immense extent, so that a flea was shown 
upon it as large as an elephant. A drop of water was exhibited 
with myriads of animalculae in it, swimming rapidly about in all 
directions ; some of them long, some short, others globular, and 
of curious out-of-the-way shapes. In a drop of vinegar there were 
seen whole legions of little eels wriggling hither and thither and 
chasing one another. A fine razor was exhibited, the edge of 
which appeared on the sheet as serrated as that of a large car- 
penter's saw. The wing of a fly was magnified to the size of the 

^ Fraser was a dancing-school teacher. 


mainsail of a first-rate man-of-war, and a piece of the finest lace 
seemed as coarse as the most ragged sackcloth. Various insects 
and vegetable substances were exhibited, immensely enlarged, 
upon the white linen sheet, which afforded much pleasure and 
amusement to the company ; so that, on the whole, Katterfelto, 
although considered in the light of a mountebank, was pretty 
successful in Glasgow. 

Subsequent to Katterfelto's exhibition a set of Indian jugglers 
came to Glasgow, who appeared dressed in their native costume, 
and performed various tricks by sleight-of-hand ; but none of 
them more wonderful than those which had been exhibited by 
Breslaw and Boaz. They did not perform any tricks with cards 
or dice, but with jugs, boxes, and balls. Their chief trick was the 
following : — Having laid themselves down squat upon the floor of 
the room, they produced an empty jug for the inspection of the 
company, which being placed on the floor amidst the visitors they 
then covered it with a common handkerchief, and after muttering 
a few mystic words and making some antic gesticulations, they 
withdrew the handkerchief, when lo, the jug appeared full of rice ! 
Again covering the jug, and going through the like ceremonies, 
the jug, on the withdrawal of the handkerchief, appeared brimful 
of water ! And lastly, after a repetition of the same mystical 
process, the jug was restored to its original empty state. The 
trick was certainly curious, for the company stood on the floor of 
the room close beside these jugglers during the performance, and 
there was apparently no place from whence the rice and water 
could have been taken. The principal part of the exhibition, 
however, consisted of swallowing a naked sword : but this was no 
trick, for it was a deed actually done. I saw one of the jugglers 
take a sword and introduce its blade down his throat into the very 
bottom of his stomach, where it remained for some time. It was 
a most disgusting sight, and I was glad to see the weapon 

I need not take notice here of the performances of Dr. James 
Graham in 1783, as I have given an account of the doings of 
that celebrated quack at Glasgow in Glasgow, Past and Present, 
vol. ii. p. 88. Dr. Graham's success appears to have stimulated 


another quack to attempt a degree of gullibility on Glasgow folks, 
which looks as if he considered them all to have been deficient in 
plain common sense, and too flush of guineas. But he made a 
sad mistake by holding forth in the Briggate — an unfortunate 
place, both then and nowadays, for gathering wealthy gulls and 

Glasgow Mercury^ 8th May 1783. — "The famous Don Pedro, on his way 
through here to Edinburgh, begs leave to acquaint the ladies and gentlemen, 
and others, that he has travelled over the most parts of the East, and has 
arrived at the greatest pitch of Eastern Learning, by which he can see so 
far into futurity, as to be able to relate to any person who may be curious to 
know, the future destiny of their lives, or any other important question ; if any 
person pleases to put his art to the proof, they may, without giving themselves 
any trouble, but writing a letter directed to Don Pedro, at Mr. Campbell's, 
slater in Bridgegate Street, Glasgow, with their name, age, day and year of 
their birth, with any other question they may want to know, when they shall 
receive a full answer to all their demands the day following, as the night must 
intervene betwixt the questions asked and their answers, as it is by his know- 
ledge of the heavenly constellations that he is able to give just answers ; all 
which he binds himself to do for the consideration of One Guinea, which 
must be inclosed in the letter. No answer will be paid to any letters but such 
as are post-paid. N.B. — His stay will only be for a few days. He intends, 
before his departure, to give a lecture on Astrology and Astronomy, with 
some surprising proofs of his art, in public." 

The Doctor, however, did not venture to give any lecture in 
Glasgow, and left the Briggate without his pockets being burdened 
overmuch with guineas. In fact, he was laughed at as a low 
vulgar impostor. 

About this time there came to Glasgow a ventriloquist, who 
performed various feats of deception, by altering the tones of his 
voice. He did not, however, speak from his belly, as the word 
implies ; but, altogether, by a modification of his lips and voice ; 
indeed, I hold it to be physically impossible for any person to 
speak from his belly. 

I have forgotten the name of this ventriloquist ; but I went 
to see his performances in Fraser's Hall, and was much amused, 
though by no means greatly surprised with them. He announced 
himself to perform as follows : — To imitate the voice of a squeak- 
ing child, and make it appear to proceed from various parts of 


the room, and even from the pockets of individuals of the company 
— in the last case, much merriment arose, when the child happened 
to shriek and squeal from the pockets of the young ladies. He 
also advertised that he would hold a conversation with a wooden 
doll, placed at a distance, as if it were a living child ; and even 
when the doll was placed beneath a hat that its cries would 
proceed apparently from its place of confinement ; that he would 
make the cries of the child to issue from the bottom of an inverted 
wine-glass, or from under the foot or the hand of any of the 
company. All these I saw performed ; but the most amusing 
part of the exhibition was the artist's imitation of the tones of 
a scolding old woman, disturbed at unseasonable hours by a 
person demanding admission into her house, and the shrieks and 
alarm of her grandchild at the cause of disturbance. 

We have been told that an accomplished ventriloquist could 
so modify his voice as to make it appear to the auditor to pro- 
ceed from any distance and in any direction that he pleased, and 
this without any change of his countenance, or alteration of his 
features ; but such was not the case with the ventriloquist in 
question, for I distinctly saw his lips to move, and his face to be 
turned hither and thither, whenever he regulated his voice, so as 
to make it appear as proceeding from any particular place. 

It has been asserted by many learned antiquaries that the 
ancient oracles and responses recorded in history were mere tricks 
of ventriloquism, delivered by persons thus qualified, to serve the 
purposes of priestcraft and delusion ; and this may be true in so 
far as regards the responses delivered by the Oracle of Delphos. 
The answers from the ancient oracles were usually given by the 
intervention of a priest or priestess, generally expressed in such 
dark and unintelligible phrases as might be easily wrested to prove 
the truth of the oracle, whatever might be the event. 

The following little anecdote was told of the ventriloquist 
whom I saw in Eraser's Hall. When in Edinburgh he went to 
the Fish Market, and there, at the stall of a fishwife, inquired the 
price of a fine haddock ; at the same time asked the wife if she 
was sure that the fish was quite fresh. " Oo ay, sir," said the 
wife. " Ise warrant it was catched this morning." On which, to 


the utter astonishment of the wife, the fish replied, " It's a blasted 
lie, for I have been here for more than a week ! " 

I shall now shift the scene, and take notice <^^ d show of an 
animal which, under scientific nomenclature, comes to be called 
" A Monster," — that is, a production of a living being degen- 
erating from the proper and usual disposition of parts of the 
species to which it belongs. 

The following advertisement describes a coza with two heads, 
which at the time attracted much attention in Glasgow among 
the medical profession : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 3d November 1785. — "To the nobility, gentry, and 
the admirers of the wonderful productions of nature. — Just arrived, and to be 
seen alive, in a commodious room near the Spoutmouth, Gallowgate, the sur- 
prising Worcestershire Heifer, six years old, being the most curious produc- 
tion of nature ever exhibited in this kingdom. This very surprising creature 
has two heads, four horns, four eyes, four ears, four nostrils, through each of 
which it breathes, &c., and what is more surprising, it takes its sustenance 
with both mouths at the same time. One of the heads, together with the 
horns, represents that of a bull, and the other that of a cow. This heifer has 
had the inspection of the Royal Society and the principal gentlemen of the 
Faculty in London and Edinburgh, and is by them universally allowed to be 
the most astonishing phenomenon of nature. The above curiosity, with 
several other curious beasts, alive, may be seen by any number of persons, 
from ten in the morning, till eight at night. Ladies or gentlemen, is. ; trades- 
men, 6d. ; servants, 3d." 

I paid a visit to this wonderful heifer, and certainly thought 
the show well worthy of the attention of virtuosi. One of the 
heads of this animal appeared to me to be perfect, and as vital as 
that of a healthy cow ; but the other head was dull and sluggish, 
and hung down from the neck like an excrescence ; the eyes in it 
were glazed and inanimated, and the expression of its countenance 
was that of imbecility. The animal itself, however, was pleasing 
to look at, and appeared very mild and gentle in its nature. I 
patted its perfect head, which it took very kindly, and seemed 
pleased with my attentions. The other animals in this show 
consisted principally of a few monkeys, and other beasts quite 
common to be seen in itinerant exhibitions. 

While on a visit to my uncle at Greenlaw House (now the 
General Terminus), in the year 1780, a hisus natiu'(B took place 


there, whereby a "'Monster'" of the species Aves (or second class 
of animals, according to Linnaeus) was produced. It thus hap- 
pened : Several young ducks having been hatched in a barn of the 
house, one ^^^ remained unhatched sometime after the rest, 
which, not having the usual marks of being rotten, the servant 
maid's curiosity prompted her to break, and in it there was found 
a young duck come to full maturity, having two distinct heads, 
equally big, and of the usual proportions, each with the proper 
bill and tongue, and everything that belongs to a distinct and 
well-formed duckling. Each of the heads had its separate neck, 
but united to the body at the shoulders. This " monster " was 
preserved for some time for the satisfaction of the curious, but I 
believe that it was never dissected. 

Buffon informs us that two female human " Monsters" natives 
of Hungary, were exhibited as a show in France and England. 
They were united at the loins, and could only see one another by 
turning their heads. When they were nearly twenty-two years of 
age, one of them fell into a lethargy, and died, and the other 
immediately thereafter followed the lot of her sister. In recent 
times we have seen a still more remarkable specimen of " Human 
Monsters" in the case of the Siamese twins, who were lately 
exhibited as a show throughout the kingdom. Specimens of 
" Monsters," however, are not confined to the animal kingdom, for 
they also occur occasionally in the vegetable creation, as I dare- 
say many of your elderly readers may remember when, in their 
juvenile years, they hunted the fields for twigs of ''■four-leaved 
clover" — a "vegetable monster" the possession of which was 
supposed to bring good luck to the finder. I have several times 
found four-leaved clover, but somehow or other I never hit on the 
good luck which was to follow the discovery. 

I shall now take notice of an exhibition which at the time 
afforded me more pleasure and amusement than any public 
entertainment I had ever witnessed ; and even at this day, after a 
long interval of seventy-six years, I still look back with delight 
to the very exhilarating shadowy scenes of the " Broken Bridge " 
and its comic songs. I have often wondered that the amusing 
exhibition of " Les Ombi-es Chinoiscs " has never been repeated in 


Glasgow since the days " o' langsyne ;" for I am sure that all the 
youngsters of our city would find more humour and fun displayed 
in the different shadowy scenes in question than in the most 
amusing theatrical farce or pantomime. I still have in my mind's 
eye the rapture with which I beheld the fall of the centre of the 
bridge, and the comic interview between a rustic mending the gap 
or chasm and a traveller wishing to cross the river. The traveller 
calls out — "Oho, yere there, how can I get over?" The rustic, 
continuing to work at the gap with his pick, without glancing at 
the traveller, sings out — 

" How do the ducks and the geese get over ? 
Falderal, falderal, falay. 
Do like them, you Highland drover. 

Falderal, falderal, falay." 

But I must now give the original bill of fare : — 

Glasgow Mercury, 2d June 1785. 

"Glasgow, 1st June 1785. — To be seen in the large Dancing Hall above 
the Weigh-house, Candleriggs,i for this and every evening for a week, the 
celebrated Female Wire Dancer, 

Who will display several Grand Equilibriums on the 
Slack Wire. 
" She balances Swords, Pipes, Plates, and Glasses horizontally and 
perpendicularly, standing with one foot on the wire in full swing ; tosses 
several oranges, quite different from what the Turk or Mr. Maddox ever did ; 
throws an orange to a great height, and catches it on a Sword or Fork, to the 
astonishment of all present ; turns on the wire as quickly as the fly of a Jack, 
which she challenges any performer to do. She has performed at Saddler's 
Wells, and most of the capital Theatres in the Kingdom, with universal 
applause, and is allowed to be the best and most surprising Balancer in 
England upon the Slack Wire, without a pole. 

Likewise will be introduced. 

Quite a New and Grand Exhibition of 

Les Ombres Chinoises, 

Consisting of a Variety of •* 

Scenes and Figures, 

Which will be represented in the grandest manner, as follows, viz. — 

1 This hall was the upper flat of the public weigh-house of the city, and was situated 
directly opposite to the large warehouses of the Messrs. Campbell, in Candleriggs Street, 
No. 34. The weigh-house was subsequently removed to the corner of Ingram Street and 
Montrose Street. 


1st, A Comic Scene, taken from the Public Gardens at Paris; or, the 
Macaroni's Escape from a Shower of Rain. In this piece a 
Hornpipe will be introduced before the rain. 

2d. The Duck Hunting ; or, the Active Fisherman. 

3d. A Comic Scene, called ' The Disappointed Traveller." 
The Broken Bridge ; 
Or, the Peasant Rewarded for his Incivility, 
f 4th. A Humorous Scene of a Cobbler's Wife and Child ; or, ' The Cat's 
Escape with the Dinner out of the Pot,' etc, 

5th. A Sea Storm, amazingly executed, with Thunder and Lightning, Ships 
in distress, Shipwreck, and Sea Monsters appearing, &c., &c., as 
is well-known at Astley's Riding School, Westminster Bridge. 

1^^ The Doors to be open at Seven o'clock, and begin at Eight. 

"Admittance — Pit, is. ; Gallery, 6d. Places to be taken and Tickets to be 
had at the place of performance from eleven to two o'clock afternoon. Good 
music will accompany the performance, and everything be conducted with 
propriety and decorum. 

" Private performance at any time of the day, by giving a day's notice." 

The whole of the above-mentioned entertainment was exceed- 
ingly well performed, and gave very general satisfaction to 
crowded audiences. The Female Wire Dancer executed her part 
with great dexterity ; and though her feats would not bear a 
comparison with those of Blondin, the celebrated rope dancer of 
the present time, nevertheless they seemed very wonderful to the 
company present at this exhibition. The slack wire on which 
the said movements were achieved consisted of twisted brass wire, 
about the thickness of a person's finger, which was made to hang 
across the room of the hall with a gentle bend. I observed that 
towards the close of her performance the lady dancer appeared 
much fatigued ; and, notwithstanding of the loud plaudits of the 
company, she seemed very thankful when her part of the show 
was concluded. 

The principal rope dancers of old in Scotland were itinerant 
mountebanks, with their clowns. Their performances consisted of 
little more than vaulting on a slack rope, turning round upon it 
like a wheel, and hanging on it by the heels or neck. Even down 
to my day these itinerant mountebanks or quack doctors were 
common, and to be seen in all fairs. 


Among the Jews of Scriptural times there appear to have been 
no public rope dancers ; but King David seems to have had a 
sort of a penchant for dancing and making a show of himself to 
the populace as an accomplished vaulter ; for we are informed 
that David danced before the public, leaping and figuring with all 
his might, at the sound of trumpets, and amidst loud shoutings, 
for which doings his wife, Michal, despised him. 

We learn from history that the ancient Greeks and Romans 
had their rope dancers as well as we. These are said to have had 
four different ways of exercising their art. The first leaped and 
skipped on the rope, whirled round it like a wheel, and then hung 
on it by their heels or neck. The second flew or slid from above, 
resting on their stomach, with their legs and arms extended. The 
third ran along a rope stretched in a right line, or up and down. 
Lastly, the fourth not only walked on the rope, but made surprising 
leaps and turns thereon. These performances nowadays would 
be considered quite common, and were certainly surpassed by the 
performance of the female wire dancer above mentioned ; but the 
feats of Blondin, the great rope dancer of the present time, throw 
the skill of all other rope dancers, ancient or modern, quite in the 

Seneca, in his 85 th epistle, mentions that elephants were 
taught to walk on the tight rope ; but even our dancing bears 
have never been exhibited to the public as rope dancers, so that 
the ancients appear to have excelled us in shows of bestial rope 

The following mechanical exhibition took place in Glasgow in 
June 1786, but as it happened during the time of the Grammar 
School vacation, our family, and I among them, were then located 
at country summer quarters, so that I had no opportunity of seeing 
it. I therefore can do no more than give the particulars of this 
curious mechanical display such as was set forth in the handbills 
of the day. 

"Glasgow, 1st June, 1786. 
" Exhibition of Mechanical Figures. 

"At Eraser's Hall, M'Nair's Land, King Street, Glasgow, this day will 


begin to be exhibited the following much admired and astonishing pieces of 
mechanism, viz. — 

Automaton Writer. 

" This curious and beautiful Figure, three feet in height, is placed at the 
end of a common table, where it writes, with pen and ink, on paper whatever 
is proposed to it, but as this Figure's performances have hitherto sufficiently 
recommended themselves, and as some of them might appear impossibilities 
in the description, the Proprietor thinks a more minute detail unnecessary, the 
Public having it so easily in their power to judge for themselves. 

Speaking Figure. 

*' This elegant Figure of Fame, suspended in the air by a ribbon, speaks 
and answers questions in different languages, and will converse on any branch 
of science. It speaks equally well when held in the hand. If desired, the 
Figure will put the question. 

Model of Gibraltar. 

" This accurate model in Wood, eight feet in length, contains the Rock, 
with the Fortifications, ancient and modern ; the town, the Neck with the 
Spanish lines and approaches during the last memorable siege, &c., &c. 

Changeable Picture, 

which changes from old age to youth, and the contrary, with a motion too 
rapid to be observed. 

Mechanical Bird, 

which shows the action of wings in flying, &c., &c. 

Admittance only one shilling. 
" Hours of Exhibition, every day from twelve to three, and from six to 
eight in the evening. N.B. — To prevent disappointment, the Proprietor 
respectfully informs the ladies and gentlemen of this city, and the pubhc in 
general, that on account of his engagements in London his stay here will be 
very short." 

The ancient Jews were poor mechanics, as we learn from 
Scripture, In the 28th chapter of ist Chronicles David gives 
instructions to his son Solomon how he was to build the Temple. 
David specifies by pattern the manner in which the upper chambers 
and lower parlours are to be built ; also gives directions regarding 
the formation of the golden and silver candlesticks, the golden 


tables of shew-bred/ flesh-hooks, bowls, and cups ; and lastly, for 
making by pattern of the chariot of the cherubims that spread out 
their wings. And David adds, in conclusion (verse 19) — "The 
Lord made me understand in writing, by his hand upon me, even 
all the work of this pattern." 

Notwithstanding of these ample directions we find that 
Solomon, when he came to build the Temple, had not workmen 
capable of executing the patterns ordered by David, but was 
obliged to send to Tyre for skilled mechanics. Solomon sent 
and fetched Hiram out of Tyre ; he was a widow's son, and his 
father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass, and he was filled 
with wisdom and understanding, and cunning to work all works 
in brass, and he came to Solomon and zvroiigJit all his work. It 
also appears that the common pump was unknown to the Jews 
in the time of our Saviour (John iv. 7-1 1). When St. Paul 
was on his voyage to Rome, and the ship, containing 276 souls, 
was about to founder, " they used helps, undergirding the ship. 
. . . And they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into 
the sea." From these passages it is evident that the ship was 
water-logged, but not a word is said about using the pumps of the 
ship ; indeed, the mechanism of the pump at that time seems to 
have been unknown even to the Greeks and Romans. However 
common the pump is at present, nothing like it was found among 
the ancient Peruvians or Pacific Islanders when they first became 
known to Europeans ; it is even said that the pump was unknown 
to the Chinese when Marco Polo visited that country. 

So long ago as 400 years before Christ, Archytas of Tarentum 
is said to have made a wooden pigeon that could fly, and no doubt 
the Greeks at that time were skilful mechanics. Demosthenes 
had upwards of thirty slaves who were cabinetmakers, so that the 
great orator belonged to the wright craft. 

In 1738 an automaton was exhibited which played on the 
German flute ; its fingers, lips, and tongue were moved by means 

1 Shew-breads were loaves which the priests put every Sabbath day upon the Golden 
Table. They were covered with leaves of gold, and were twelve in number, representing 
the twelve tribes. They were served up hot, and the stale ones taken away, as the 
priest alone could eat them. 


of a steel cylinder turned by clockwork. In 1769 an automaton 
was constructed at Presburg which played at chess, and was 
exhibited to thousands in Vienna, Paris, and London. The figure 
was as large as life, in a Turkish dress, and sat behind a table. 
It beat all the first-rate players of chess in those cities ; but it was 
observed that it could not play unless the inventor was near it. 
After exciting the astonishment of all Europe for upwards of 
fifteen years, it was at last found out that the machinery of its 
movements were directed by the inventor himself in a curious and 
occult manner, and then the wonder ceased. 

I was present in December 1789 at the following optical 
exhibition : — 

Glasgow Mercury .f ist December 1789. 

"Mr. Bradberry's Philosophical and Optical Exhibition, 
At the Glasgow Hotel, Tavern, and Cofifee-House, the coiner of Candleriggs. 

"All the ideas of the human mind, however extensive its capacity or accurate 
its researches, are received by means of the senses ; surely, then, to have these 
ministers of information well instructed is no small advantage ; and as by the 
eye the far greater part of our ideas are transmitted to the mind, it appears of 
considerable importance to improve to the utmost this medium of knowledge ; 
for, which intent the present exhibition is offered to the public. By it the 
inventor will prove by experiment that sight is more liable to be deceived than 
most people imagine, by producing the following objects to the sight where 
nothing really exists : — 

" First, a Nosegay will seem within reach, but on attempting to touch it, a 
Dagger will appear, and be followed by a Lemon. The roundness of this, 
with the hand that presents it, would induce every person to believe it real ; 
and will be succeeded by the appearance and motion of a Living Head, in a 
manner beyond what words can express. The Ha7idle of a Dagger will appear 
to invite the hand to touch it, but is always out of reach. A Bird will then 
present itself ; but, like the rest, is only an airy vision, and will be followed by 
one of the finest painted Portraits in Europe, which cannot be known from 
real life. 

" As soon as a sufficient number have subscribed, Mr. Bradberry proposes 
reading a Lecttire on Optics. 

" Admittance from 1 2 till 3, and from seven till 9 in the evening, at One 

I must confess that I felt rather disappointed on the occasion 
of my visit to this exhibition, as I expected that the dagger scene 
in particular would have partaken a great deal more of the reality 


than it did. I was prepared for seeing a dagger suddenly thrust 
at my heart so as to cause me to start back, but it seemed too 
much like a dagger flourished behind a sheet of plate-glass to 
cause any alarm. The exhibition, however, was curious and 
interesting as experiments in optics. I did not understand the 
manner by which the changes were effected, as the movements 
were concealed by being carried on in a back apartment, and the 
spectacles were exhibited only through an aperture resembling a 

This exhibition did not meet with great success in Glasgow, 
in consequence of which Mr. Bradberry gave up the attempt to 
read a lecture on optics. I think that no other exhibition of the 
kind has ever since been seen in Glasgow, 

There can be no doubt that these ocular spectra have been 
often used by impostors for the purposes of deception, and to 
cause a belief of the existence of supernatural beings. 

We find in the early history of every nation that a general 
belief in the reality of ghosts, apparitions, and spectres was 
common among all ranks of the people. Polished nations, even 
down to our own times, have given credit, more or less, to the 
existence and pranks of these aerial beings. This belief was 
common to the ancient Jews, Greeks, and Romans, as we learn 
from sacred and profane history. On innumerable occasions 
supernatural beings are said to have discovered themselves to the 
eyes of mortals, to have held conferences with mankind, and to 
have interposed their aid and assistance to those in need. It is 
curious to observe that all ghosts, apparitions, and spectres were 
honest, upright, and generous beings, and never directed mortals 
to commit murder, to rob, or to steal ; but, on the contrary, they 
in a friendly way pointed out the best manner of discovering 
horrid murders, of finding out hidden treasures, and of showing 
how deceased relations had been defrauded by forged wills. As 
for evil spirits and devils, they were always looked upon by every 
person as the inveterate and cursed enemies of mankind, who 
took pleasure in tempting poor mortals to commit all manner 
of wickedness, by taking possession of both soul and body. I 
daresay that most of your elderly readers have perused in their 


young days Satan's Invisible World Discovered^ in which will be 
found a wonderful collection of the malpractices of evil spirits and 
demons — a book which was to be found in every bookseller's shop 
in the Saltmarket seventy or eighty years ago, but which is now 
very rare, and perhaps only to be found by applying to the College 

The tenement at the corner of Trongate and Candleriggs 
where Mr. Bradberry exhibited his optical experiments, had been 
built shortly before 1789, and the first floor of it came to be 
occupied by Henry Hemming, an Englishman, as a hotel, con- 
ducted in the English style. This tenement was built on the site 
of the old Guard-House by Mr. M'llhose, who changed his name 
thereafter to Hozier. The Guard-House jutted out on the street 
to the whole extent of the footpath, and formed a piazza in front 
for the soldiers on duty. It appears from the following notice 
that the Guard-House in question must have been built about the 
year 1 7 5 6, as the more ancient Guard-House appears to have been 
situated at the Well Close, on the east side of Saltmarket : — 

" Notice. 
"Glasgow, 1 8th October 1756. 

" That the stone, timber, lead, glass work, iron, and whole other materials 
of the Old Guard House, and of the old houses or lands in Well Close, on the 
east side of the Saltmarket, belonging to the Town of Glasgow, are to be sold 
by public roup, within the Court Hall of the Tolbooth of Glasgow, upon the 
last Wednesday of October inst., between the hours of 12 and 2, afternoon. 
As also, the small yearly Feu Duties, within and belonging to the Town, under 
Forty Shillings Sterling, are to be sold by way of public roup the said time 
and place. 

" Those who incline to purchase the materials of said houses, may view 
the same betwixt and the roup : and those who incline to purchase the Feu 
Duties foresaid may, betwixt and the said time, enquire at Mr. William Weir, 
writer, or Mr. Arthur Robertson, chamberlain, for any particulars thereanent." 

The corner shop of the ground floor of M'llhose's Land, as it 
was called, came to be occupied by Miller and Ewing, clothiers. 
These gentlemen were very polite and affable in their manners to 
all ranks, but particularly so to military gentlemen, in consequence 
of which their shop came to be a kind of lounge to the oflficers 



quartered in Glasgow. This clothing establishment still exists at 
79 Buchanan Street, by the name of Ewing and Wingate, and I 
suspect that it is the sole remnant of the Glasgow cloth-shops of 
olden time. 

{iQth October 1861.) 

I have read with much pleasure the editorial observations upon 
cotton in your paper of the i 8th inst., and have little to add to 
your statements ; but I think it may be interesting to many of 
your readers to compare the imports of cotton into Britain of the 
present time with the imports there in my early days, when the 
cotton trade had just commenced to be the staple manufacture of 

According to a table in the Anmtal Blue Book of the Trade 
and Navigation of the United Kingdom, which has lately been 
issued, the total quantity of raw cotton imported in i860 was 
12,419,096 cwts., valued at ;^3 5,7 5 6,8 89. Of this quantity 
9,963,309 cwts. came from the United States of America, being 
more than three-fourths of the whole imports; 1,822,689 cwts. 
came from India ; the rest was imported from the Mauritius, 
West Indies, Africa, Guiana, Egypt, Brazil, Peru, and other minor 

In the Scots Magazine of 1790, page 164, we have the follow- 
ing account of cotton wool imported into Great Britain in 1789 : — 

Foreign West Indies . 

Libs. 239,803 
„ 4,668,231 

East Indies . 

„ 2,101,104 


„ 1,345,702 

French Settlements . 

„ 6,143,623 


„ 4,755,635 

Spanish West Indies . 


West Indies, per Ireland 

„ 52,794 






2 B 


Bermudas ..... Libs. 5) 800 

British Settlements ... . „ 9,998,986 

Other parts . . . . „ 705,921 

Into Scotland from the British West Indies „ 1,700,000 

Total Libs. . , 32,209,895 

It thus appears that the cotton imported in 1 860 amounted to 
about 1 2 J millions of cwts., while the importations of the same 
article in 1789 amounted only to about 287-I thousand cwts., or 
a little more than one-quarter of a million of cwts. 

In 1 78 1 the total imports of cottonwool into Britain were 
only 5,198,778 lbs., or about 46^ thousand cwts., none of which 
came from America, or at least only a few bags from Georgia 
into London. The first importation of raw cotton into Liverpool 
from America was in 1784 — the next year after the Treaty of 
Independence. The Custom-House at first demurred to pass the 
entry, not believing the cotton to be the growth of the United 
States. Archibald Campbell was the first who imported Ameri- 
can cotton into Glasgow. He imported then only a few bags by 
way of trial. It is not my intention to enter into cotton statistics, 
as the subject has been so ably handled by others. I intend 
merely to jot down a few loose memoranda regarding the intro- 
duction of cotton and its manufacture into Glasgow. 

The first public auction of cotton in Glasgow that I have 
found was advertised in the Glasgow Journal of 24th February 
1765, as follows: — 

"To be sold, by public roup, upon Monday the 28th of February inst., at 
12 o'clock, at the callender of Messrs. Gray and Co., Bell's Wynd of Glasgow, 
three bags of cotton, and forty tons of fustick, which will be shown there any 
time betwixt and the roup, by Mr. James Anderson," 

It appears, however, from the following advertisement in the 
same paper, of date 4th December 1758, that it was then usual 
to retail raw cotton in Glasgow in single bags : — 

" To be sold, at Joseph Anigus's cellars, in Bell's Wynd, Leeward Island, 
cotton by the bag, or in larger quantities ; strong Jamaica rum, by the pun- 
cheon, or lesser quantities not under two gallons ; several casks of Carolina 
indigo, of different qualities." 



From the following quotation from the Glasgow paper of 1 1 th 
September 1766 it appears that cotton, in single bags, was regu- 
larly imported into Scotland from London, as being the principal 
market for the article : — 

"Notice. — At the Carron Warehouse, Glasgow, to be owned, seven bags of 
cotton ; one bag marked I. E., the other six of different marks ; brought from 
London in the Glasgow, Duncan, for Carron Wharf, on the ist inst." 

The first cotton mill erected in Scotland was in Rothesay, 
about the year 1778, or soon afterwards. In 1792 the steam- 
engine for the first time came to be used in driving the machinery 
of a cotton mill. This mill was erected on the site of the late 
David Todd's lands of Springfield, now part of the harbour on 
the south. William Scott was the managing partner, commonly 
called " Swearing Wully," to distinguish him from another William 
Scott. David Dale commenced to build his first cotton mill at 
New Lanark about the year 1783 ; but it was accidentally burned 
to the ground a few weeks after it had begun to produce spun 
yarn. It, however, was speedily rebuilt, and additional mills 
were erected beside it. 

As is well known, David Dale was originally an operative 
weaver in Paisley ; but I have seen no account of the manner in 
which he commenced his career as a yarn merchant. The follow- 
ing advertisement, however, from one Gavin Millar, will show the 
nature of the trade which first enticed Mr. Dale to commence yarn 
merchant : — 

Glasgotv Journal, 25th December 1766. — '^ Gavin Millar, at his house in 
Gallowgate, opposite to the sign of the Red Lion, Glasgow, sells all kinds of 
Dutch lints, drest and undrest : yarn bought and sold, and lint given out to 
spin. Any person well recommended, and willing to engage to take out lint, 
and gather in yarn, will meet with good encouragement by applying as above ; 
also manufactures and sells all sorts of green and white Holland cloth at the 
lowest price." 

Mr. Dale at first tramped the country on foot in the above 
trade, and purchased from farmers' wives and others in the neigh- 
bouring counties their home-spun linen yarns, which he afterwards 
sorted according to their GRISTS, and then sold the same in the 
Glasgow market for customary work. He settled in Glasgow in 


1763, being in his twenty-fourth year, and took a shop on the 
east side of the High Street, at ;^5 of rent ; but he let a part of 
it to a watchmaker for fifty shilHngs of rent. Shortly after com- 
mencing this business he obtained Mr. Archibald Paterson (after- 
wards proprietor of Merkdailly Lands, now Charlotte Street) as a 
moneyed partner. Mr. Paterson, however, took no share in the 
management of the company, which soon extended its transactions 
by importing linen yarns from Flanders and Holland. Mr. Dale 
having thus established the business, and acquired some capital of 
his own, wished to get quit of Mr. Paterson as a sleeping partner, 
and accordingly we find, by the following advertisement, that a 
dissolution of the concern took place in 1782 : — 

Glasgow J oiirfial, 24th May 1782. — "The partnership between Archibald 
Paterson and David Dale, carried on under the firm of David Dale and Co., 
is dissolved. Those who have claims upon the company may have them settled 
when they please, by applying to David Dale ; and all who are indebted to 
the company, either by bill or open account, to pay the same to him. David 
Dale continues to carry on the same business on his own account. 

"Archd. Paterson. 
" David Dale. 
"Glasgow -zzd May 1782." , 

Mr. Paterson thought it was rather sharp on the part of Mr. 
Dale to dissolve the connection immediately on its being firmly 
established and lucrative ; nevertheless through life he continued 
on the most friendly terms with Mr. Dale, which were greatly 
strengthened by a unison of sentiment in their religious views. 

The acquaintances of Mr. Dale were often much surprised at 
his intimate knowledge of the country places and localities of the 
counties in the neighbourhood of Glasgow, not being aware that 
in early life he had again and again tramped the spots to purchase 
home-made yarns. 

Near the close of last century Mr. Dale commenced to manu- 
facture extensively cotton fabrics suitable for printing, and I 
remember that the following report was then current : — It was 
said that he was in use to sell these fabrics to a large amount to 
Messrs. William Stirling and Sons at the credit of twelvemonths' 
bills, which bills he discounted at his pleasure in the Royal Bank, 

COTTON. 373 

being manager of the said bank in Glasgow : this, in fact, made it 
a CASH business for Mr Dale, and the long credit secured a valu- 
able customer. I cannot vouch for the fact, but can vouch for 
the currency of the report. 

About sixty years ago I happened to be in company with Mr. 
Gilbert Innes of Stow, then a director in Edinburgh of the Royal 
Bank, and the largest shareholder in it. In the course of our 
conversation I asked him if the Glasgow branch of the Royal 
Bank at its early establishment had been in the regular practice 
of discounting twelvemonths' bills. Mr. Innes evaded my ques- 
tion by saying that he believed that it did discount long-dated bills. 

Before parting with Mr. Dale I must here give a little amusing 
anecdote of him, which I believe is new to most of your readers. 

During the French war one of the homeward-bound Jamaica 
packets was captured by the enemy. Messrs. Leitch and Smith 
expected large remittances by that packet, and were greatly dis- 
appointed at its loss, having considerable payments falling due, 
to meet which they sent a large amount of bills to the Royal 
Bank for discount. Mr. Scott Moncrieff, however, discounted only 
the one-half of them, and returned the other half; upon which 
Mr. Smith (Jordanhill) went personally to the bank to remonstrate 
with Mr. Scott on the subject. On arrival there he found Mr. 
Dale and Mr. Scott sitting in the front parlour of the bank at St. 
Andrew's Square. After the usual salutations had passed Mr. 
Smith expressed his surprise at having so limited an amount of 
discounts from the bank, seeing that the loss of the Jamaica 
packet was so well known. Mr. Scott, as usual, here put on his 
grimmest countenance, and in a grumbling and growling manner 
said, " Mr. Smith, you must reduce your business ; you are carry- 
ing it on upon far too great a scale ; you ought greatly to lessen 
the scale of your dealings." Upon which Mr. Smith replied, "Mr. 
Scott, upon what scale would you have me to carry them on ?" 
Mr. Dale here interrupted the conversation by saying to Mr. 
Smith, " Oh, Mr. Scott thinks that they should be upon a herring 
scale ! r This reply put them all in a mighty good humour, and 
so Mr. Smith got the whole of his bills discounted. 

Mr. Scott Moncrieff was naturally of a mild and gentle char- 


acter, and his growlings and grumblings were all forced and 
simulated, which the public soon discovered. 

But to return to the manufacture of cotton. At a pretty 
early date webs of linen warp and cotton weft were common, but 
James Monteith of Anderston was the first who gave out a web 
to weave composed wholly of cotton. The yarns of it were 
brought from India and spun by the hand ; they were imported 
in globular balls, pretty similar to a bird's nest, and got the name 
of " Bird-Nest Yarns." They were very soft to feel, but quite 
irregular as to the GRIST ; in consequence of which, all muslins 
manufactured wholly from these bird-nest yarns were clouded, 
owing to the irregularity of the threads. Bird-nest yarns have 
long disappeared from the market, our own cotton yarns being 
much superior to them, both as to strength and regularity of 


Mr. William Stirling was the first who brought India printed 
cottons to Glasgow ; the printing of them, however, was executed 
in London, but the cloth itself was of India manufacture. The 
following is Mr. Stirling's advertisement in the Glasgow Journal 
of the I oth of May 1756 : — 

" At the warehouse of Mr. StirHng, above the Cross, there is to be exposed 
to sale for a few days, A neat Parcel of printed Cottons^ of the newest patterns, 
lately imported from London, at and below first cost." 

It is certainly a little curious how Mr. Stirling came to sell 
such rarities "at and below first cost"!!! but he probably had 
purchased them merely for the purpose of obtaining new and 
fashionable patterns, and not with any object of making profit by 
them ; this appears the more likely to have been what he had in 
view from the contents of the following advertisement : — 

Glasgow Journal, 15th March 1764. — "At Daleholme Printfield, near 
Glasgow, there is printed, all sorts of work upon linen and cotton cloth for 
gowns and furniture, by William Stirling & Co., merchants in Glasgow, who 
have engaged a man of character in the printing business lately in London ; 
from which place he has this season brought a great variety of the newest and 
most fashionable prints ; the patterns of which, and the prices of each may be 
seen, in a book kept at the shop of Jean M'Neil, Greenock ; William Morison, 
Port-Glasgow ; Wm. Wilson, Kilmarnock ; Zachary Gemmil, Irvine ; David 

COTTON. 375 

Farrie, Ayr ; James Paterson, Hamilton ; David Nevary, Edinburgh ; John 
Wilson, Falkirk ; James Bredie, Perth ; Michael Erskine, Paisley ; and at the 
warehouse, Glasgow, who receive the cloth from our customers ; and they may 
depend upon having it well printed, and returned in due time. Let the 
owners' name be sewed with linen thread, at full length, and the place of their 
abode, at one end, and the number of the print they chuse at the other end of 
the piece. No Green cloth taken in without charging threepence the yard 
bleaching, or twopence if the warp is made of bleached yam, beside the price 
of printing." 

It is curious to see the state of the printing business in 
Glasgow a century ago. The chief dependence for sales seems to 
have been from country customers, and the thrifty housewives 
and their daughters could then have got their home-made cloths 
for gowns, coverlets, or shawls, etc., printed in retail at their 
pleasure. It appears from the above advertisement that the warp 
of webs was frequently bleached before being put into the loom, 
in which case the weft was generally the India bird-nest cotton. 
These made a firm, soft, and substantial fabric, and excellently 
adapted to household purposes — in particular, they made very 
pleasant sheetings. Most families about this period were in the 
practice of employing customary weavers to execute the weaving 
of their home-spun yarns ; but, as these yarns were generally 
unequal in the GRIST, itinerant yarn dealers (such as Mr. Dale was 
in early life) either sold, bought, or exchanged yarns with them in 
order to have the said yarns properly classified and sorted for the 
loom. Even down to my time the spindle and distaff were 
sometimes to be seen in use for spinning. At the period in 
question most industrious families had their spinning-wheels in 
constant use, and some sharp mistresses were accustomed to 
stipulate, at giving arles'^ to their servants, that they should rise 
to their spinning-wheels regularly at six o'clock in the morning. 
This early rising to spinning work is now expected only from the 
lasses at our cotton mills. I remember our family spinning-wheel, 
long laid past in our garrets as lumber, and finally presented to 
one of our servants, who was emigrating to Nova Scotia. 

1 In Scotland a servant who has been hired, and who has received arles, is supposed 
to have a right to Ijreak the engagement, if the earnest, or arles, be returned within 
twenty- four hours. This may have no other sanction than cnsiom.^/amieson' s Scottish 


In the Glasgow Mercury , of 3d April 1783, we find the 
following notice : — 

" Among the premiums gained at the Linen Hall, Edinburgh, last March, 
were six pieces of striped muslins manufactured by Robert and Adam Thomp- 
son, manufacturers in this city, for which they received twenty pounds as a 
premium. The gentlemen who acted as judges for the Hon. Board of 
Trustees have declared that the above striped muslins were far superior in 
quality to any they had ever seen manufactured in Scotland." 

The above-named gentlemen were the grandfather and grand- 
uncle of Neil Thompson, Esq., of Camphill. Mr. Adam Thompson 
was amongst the first feuars of the lands of Hutcheson's Hospital, 
and he built several of the large tenements on the west side of 
Hutcheson Street. 

Having taken notice of Messrs. William Stirling and Sons as 
being one of the oldest and most eminent printing establishments 
of our city, perhaps it may be interesting to many of your readers 
to hear something regarding the site of their warehouse and 
dwelling-house, which now form Stirling Street and Stirling Square. 
The following is extracted from the Glasgow Mercury of 6th 
October 1789 : — 

" To be sold, by public voluntary roup, within the Tontine of Glasgow," 
etc., " That tenement of land, belonging to Messrs. Stirlings, partly occupied 
as a dwelling-house, and partly as warehouses, with a complete sunk storey 
below the warehouses, having an entry from the west side of the High Street, 
leading to the College, and another from the Grammar School Wynd, with the 
offices thereto belonging, and the whole adjoining ground. As also, the tene- 
ment and two shops, with the houses on both sides of the close or entry lead- 
ing from the High Street to the tenement first mentioned. The whole grounds, 
including what the buildings occupy, measure about 4400 square yards ; and 
buildings might be erected to advantage upon part of the vacant ground, 
without injuring the principal house. — For further particulars apply to Messrs. 
William Stirling and Sons, who will show a plan of the property, &c., and will 
conclude a private bargain with any person inclining to purchase previous to 
the day of sale." 

The property not having been sold, we find the following 
notice in the Glasgow Mercury of 20th November 1792 : — 

" A New Street and Square. — To be sold, by public roup, within the 
Tontine Tavern of Glasgow, upon Thursday the 3d day of January 1793, 

COTTON. 377 

between the hours of two and three o'clock, certain steadings or building lots 
in the proposed New Square and Street on the west side of the High Street, 
the property of William Stirling and Sons. The street will be opened nearly 
opposite to the Black Fryars' Wynd, and run westwards into the square, from 
w^hich there will be smaller streets or entries to Bell's Wynd, or Canon Street. 
It is intended that the fronts of the houses shall be built on an uniform plan, 
corresponding to a set of beautiful elevations, newly designed by Mr. Adams, 
architect. These, with commodious inside plans by the same architect, and 
a plan of the ground, will be shown by David Scott, Bell's Wynd," etc. etc. 

The Messrs. Stirling removed their extensive warehouses first 
to one of the wings of the Shawfield Mansion, at Glassford Street, 
and afterwards to Cunningham's Great House, Ingram Street, 
now the Royal Exchange. On the first of October 1792 Andrew 
Stirling of Drumpeller withdrew from the Glasgow establishment, 
and formed the extensive commission house of Stirling, Hunter 
and Company, of London. The following extract is from the 
Gazette : — 

" Notice. — That from this date Andrew Stirling ceases to be a partner in 
the business carried on under the firm of William Stirling & Sons, and the 
business is continued under the same firm by John Stirling and James Stirling, 
the only remaining partners. 

"Glasgow, 1st October 1792. 

"Andw. Stirling. 
" John Stirling. 
"JA. Stirling. 
" Andrew Fraser, witness. 
*' Roderick Macdonald, witness." 

In your editorial article of the i 8th instant you say, " It is 
generally believed that India cotton is naturally of inferior quality." 
Now, although this is the general belief at present, it was far other- 
wise in my early days ; for yarns spun from India cotton bore an 
extra price in the market, it being then universally understood that 
muslins manufactured from India cotton approached nearer to the 
fabric of the muslins sold at the East India Company's sales than 
muslins manufactured from cotton of other growths. 

We have all lately heard long discussions regarding short 
measures and short lengths, but in my early days there was another 
mode of making money, pretty much of the same description, as 
the following anecdote shows : — 


About the year 1794 I purchased a lot of yarns from an 
extensive yarn merchant in Glasgow, but who was not the spinner 
of the yarns. The said yarns were invoiced to me as spun from 
India cotton, and accordingly were charged a higher rate on that 
account. When examining the bundles of yarn upon delivery I 
felt surprised at seeing the inside tickets of each bundle MUTILATED, 
the word " India " having been written upon a piece of paper 
apparently torn ; but upon one of the torn papers I found at the 
torn part the letters " ch " remaining, and immediately concluded 
that I had been imposed upon, and that the said yarns had in 
reality been spun from Dutch cotton, the growth of the Dutch 
settlements in Surinam, Berbice, or Demerara, in Guiana, and that 
the word " Dutch," originally inscribed on the tickets by the 
spinner, had been torn off by the dealer, and " India " substituted 
in its place. Indignant at the deception, I called upon the dealer, 
and insisted upon the yarns being charged only as spun from 
Dutch cotton. Of course I was prepared for a denial of the 
deception, which was the case ; but showing him the mutilated 
tickets in my possession, and refusing to accept any bill for the 
lot as invoiced, he then altered his tone, and, speaking very 
graciously and softly, said, that as I was a new beginner, whom 
he wished to encourage, he would not make any words about the 
matter, and so deducted the extra charge for India growth. After 
this I declined having any dealings with this gentleman, who soon 
afterwards purchased a landed estate, for which he paid upwards 
of fifty thousand pounds. 



The following French prophecy, uttered a century ago regard- 
ing the American New Englanders, is so characteristic of their 
descendants, the modern Federalists, that it appears at present to 
show them off quite quasi in speado : — 

On the loth of February 1763 a treaty of peace was concluded between 


the Kings of Great Britain, France, and Portugal, by which, inter alia, the 
King of France " cedes and guarantees to his Britannic Majesty, in full right, 
Canada, with all its dependencies, as well as the Island of Cape Breton, and 
all the other islands and coasts in the Gulph and River of St. Lawrence, and 
in general ever>nhing that depends on the said countries, lands, islands, and 
coasts, with the sovereignty, property, possession, and all rights acquired by 
treaty or otherwise, which the most Christian King and the Crown of France 
have had till now over the said countries, islands, lands, places, coasts, and 
their inhabitants." 

In the London newspapers of 12th July 1775 we have the 
following anecdote : — 

"When the last peace was negotiating at Paris (1762), the Duke de 
Choiseul was Minister of France ; and some of the Cabinet, who wanted to 
supplant him, found great fault at the facility with which he ceded the 
Province of Canada to the King of Great Britain. They exclaimed that it was 
disgraceful in the highest degree to surrender the whole Continent of America 
to the English, and made such a clamour on the subject that his most Christian 
Majesty at last spoke of it to the Duke. 

" ' Sire,' returned Choiseul, ' we have now but one province of Canada on 
the whole Continent of America, and the charge of maintaining it against such 
powerful neighbours as the English will not only exceed its value to us but 
will open a door of perpetual hostility with England, whereas ceding it at once 
to his Britannic Majesty will prevent these inconveniences, and find constant 
employment for the British nation ; for, give me leave to tell you. Sire, that if 
the English Ministry had as much wisdom as they ought to have, they would 
almost pay your Majesty a subsidy to retain it in your hands. Their colonies 
are now all Jlotirishing, and will speedily be all insolefit. They want the pro- 
tection of the mother- country no longer than while Canada is ours. They 
have for several years manifested a strong inclination of independence, and 
will assert that independency the moment a foreign enemy is removed from 
their back. The provinces particularly which go by the name of N'ew England 
are peopled by a set of hypocrites, descended from the fanatics who murdered 
their prince in the seventeenth century ; and they retain in a peculiar manner 
all that abhorrence to monarchical government which characterised the Regicides 
their ancestors. My advice, therefore. Sire, most humbly is that the mastiffs 
may have full liberty to worry one another ; so long as Canada belongs to 
your Majesty, so long the British Colonies will be dutiful to their Sovereign, 
because they will stand in need of his protection, but remove the want of that 
protection, and you remove their obedience instantly. From powerful friends 
you turn them into the most fortnidable enemies of England, and rescue all 
Europe from the spirit of dictation which has rendered the English so long in- 
tolerable as a people.' " 

There can be no doubt but Canada in possession of Great 


Britain has long been a thorn in the sides of the Federalists ; and, 
accordingly, we find them, upon every petty difference with this 
country, loudly sounding a crusade against Canada, and threatening 
to seize it as an easy prey ; but supposing they were to acquire 
it, the acquisition, according to Choiseul's prophecy, would only 
tend to a further secession, and to a splitting of the Union into 
various independent states. 


The late Mrs. Douglas of Orbiston died in the ninety-first year 
of her age. She was about a year older than her brother, Sir Neil 
Douglas ^ (who was my schoolfellow), and, with the exception of 
Miss Oswald of Scotstoun, was the oldest of the once fashionable 
Glasgow belles, who have seen three generations of our citizens 
pass away. 

A rather curious circumstance occurred on the marriage day of 
this lady, which caused much talk in Glasgow at the time, and 
afforded a little scope for merriment to our Glasgow gossipers. 

The following notice appeared in the Glasgow Mercury of the 
28th January 1794: — 

" From an uncommonly mild winter, a sudden change took place since 
Thursday last, and the severity of that boisterous and cold season has been 
universally felt. On Friday afternoon it began to snow, and continued till 
daylight on Saturday morning. The fall of snow was so great as to render 
the roads impassable, and the diligences that took their departure from Glasgow 
that morning to the different towns, after attempting to go on, were obliged to 
return. No intercourse was had with Paisley and Greenock, but by two or 
three people on foot. As the wind blew E.N.E., the vessels in the road of 
Greenock were drove from their anchors, and went on shore, and two of them 
have received considerable damage in their rigging, and one of them had six 
feet water in her hold. The London mail, due on Saturday, arrived at eleven 

1 Mrs. Douglas had two older brothers, George and John ; the former died a young 
man. It was John who formed the concern of the Messrs. Douglas, after his return 
from the West Indies. 


o'clock on Saturday evening, and this day three London mails and two 
Edinburgh ones are due. It is feared that many lives have been lost by the 
suddenness of the storm and the depth of the snow." 

" Married yesterday, Gilbert Douglas, Esq., to Miss Cecilia Douglas, 
daughter of Mr. John Douglas, merchant in Glasgow." 

I remember this great storm very well, and can truly say that 
no such excessive fall of snow has since taken place in Glasgow 
which can bear any comparison to it in point of magnitude. On 
each side of the Trongate and Argyll Street the snow was heaped 
up, and lay about five feet deep, and the centre of these streets 
having been cleared, the public there walked along them with a 
wall of snow on their right and left as high as their shoulders. 

It was on this unpropitious day that Miss Cecilia Douglas 
was married, and set out on the marriage jaunt with her husband; 
but although a carriage and four horses were expected to have 
been sufficient to carry the married pair safely through the 
blocked-up country roads, it turned out quite otherwise, for the 
bridal party stuck fast on the road at an insignificant petty ale- 
house, destitute of all comfortable accommodation, and there they 
had to pass the first evening of their marriage, to their no small 
grief and annoyance. They managed, however, to reach Edinburgh 
the next day, and there, in snug quarters, they soon forgot their mishap. 

Glasgow Mercury, 4th February 1794. — "From the impassable state of 
the roads by the great fall of snow, the mail coach, to and from London by 
Carlisle, has been unable to travel since our last, and the arrival of the mails 
no ways regular. Yesterday's London mail arrived in course, as did four 
others on different days before on horseback, and we hope the intercourse 
by the west road with London is re-established. The thaw, which began on 
Thursday, melted the snow in a gradual manner, and the Clyde on Friday 
indicated a high flood, and by nine o'clock on Saturday morning, the Bridge- 
gate and ground on both sides of the river were completely overflowed, and 
the inhabitants of the ground floors had to seek refuge from their neighbours. 
The flood continued in that state till nine o'clock on Saturday night, after 
which it gradually fell, and by mid-day on Sunday the people began to enter 
their habitations. On Monday it was confined within its banks. The appre- 
hension of its rising to a greater height was generally imagined, and the fears 
of many anticipated the rising to the flood of March 12, 1782, which was at 
least three feet higher than on Saturday last. 

"The recentness of the thaw and difficulty of travelling, puts it out of our 
power to give a more particular account of the effects of the flood." 



In the year 1 789 I had occasion daily to mount and descend the 
Deanside Brae upon business, so that the state of the place at that 
date is quite familiar to me. The whole of the Deanside Brae 
was then vacant ground, as is shown in the old maps of Glasgow. 
The Deanside or Meadow Well was situated in a meadow at the 
west end of Grayfriars (or Bun's) Wynd, close to the footpath 
leading up to the Rottenrow ; it is now on the street, at 88 George 
Street, opposite to the lane leading into Shuttle Street. The 
Deanside Well was then in a rural spot, the whole lands on the 
west as far as Partick being garden grounds and cornfields. 

In Stuart's Viezus the lonely foot passage up the Deanside 
Brae to the Rottenrow is very distinctly shown. The well stood 
at the south extremity of the said footpath, about the centre of 
the wynd. 

By the formation of George Street, Bun's Wynd became 
extinct, and has been replaced by St. Nicholas Street, the corner 
house of which, in the High Street (having corby steps), appears 
to have been also the corner tenement of Grayfriars (or Bun's) 
Wynd. St. Nicholas Hospital, from which the name of St. 
Nicholas Street is derived, was situated in the High Street, near 
the Gasworks and Infirmary. Keith, in his Bishops, at page 475, 
says, there was the Hospital of St. Nicholas in Glasgow, 

" Wherein there were some waiting maids to attend the sick. It is made 
mention of in the Chartulary of Paisley, p. 297, where it is said, 'unus lectus 
fundatus in hospitali Sancti Nicholai in Glasgow, per venerabilem virum 
Michaelem Fleming.' " 

Bishop Muirhead founded the hospital in 1471, for twelve old 
men and a priest. 

In the year 1304 Robert, Bishop of Glasgow, gave the Dean- 
side or Meadow Well in a present to the Friar Preachers, to 
enable them to lead its stream into their convent. 

M'Ure, at page 66, says : — 


" There was within the precincts of the city a convent of Gray Friars or 
Franciscans, at the foot of the wynd called Gray Friars Wynd, and by corrup- 
tion is now called Bun's Wynd. They had some feu duties payable to them 
in town, and of several tenements which they had by the gift of the bishops, 
which at the reformation were made over to the community of the city." 

There appear formerly to have been two monastic establish- 
ments in Glasgow — viz. the Black Friars, or Dominicans, and 
the Gray Friars or St. Franciscans. I think it was the Gray 
Friars who had their convent or monastery near the Deanside. 
About the year 1820, upon digging the foundation of Dr. Dick's 
church in North Albion Street, a number of human bones were 
found, which by some of our Glasgow savans were considered the 
bones of the Gray Friar Preachers, and that Dr. Dick's church 
covers the cemetery of their convent. The exact site where the 
convent itself stood is not known. 

The order of Black Friars was founded in Spain in 1206, and 
the Gray Friars in Italy in 1198. The Gray Friars came to 
England about the year 1224, and probably came to Glasgow 
not long after. There were two orders of them ; the one, embrac- 
ing severe discipline and absolute poverty, were called Spirituals, 
the other, less austere, were denominated Brethren of the Com- 
munity. The latter resided in convents, but the former did not. 
I suppose that the " Brethern of the Community " had their con- 
vent near the Grayfriars Wynd. 

M'Ure, page 59, writes as follows : — 

" In the city of Glasgow, both the Black and Gray Friars had convents, 
the Black Friars, Dominicans, or Friar Preachers, Fratres Predicatorum, had 
their convent near to the Black Friar Church, which belonged to them." 

Keith's Bishops : — 

Page 451 — "There was a convent of Gray Friars founded in Glasgow in 
1476, by John, Bishop of Glasgow, and Thomas Forsyth, rector of Glasgow. 
Jeremy Russell, or Friar of that place, was burnt as an heretic in the year 
I 559, and the year thereafter (i 560) the convent was demolished by the Duke 
of Chatelherault, and the Earl of Argyle." 

Page 446 — " The Black Friars' convent was founded by the Bishop and 
Chapter of the city, in the year 1220, by King Robert ist (Bruce), he grants 
to the monks of the city of Glasgow, * viginti mercas sterlingorum pro susten- 
tatione luminarium, anno 131 5.'" 


Keith, page 454 — " The third order of the Begging Friars was the 'Car- 
melites,' who had their beginning in Syria. They were divided into thirty-two 
provinces, of which Scotland was the thirteenth, where they were called White 
Friars, from their outer garment. They came into this kingdom the nth 
year of the reign of Alexander III., and had nine convents in Scotland, but 
none of them were situated in Glasgow." 

I think that there was a plot of ground to the south of 
Anderston Walk which belonged to the Black Friars, and became 
the property of our University at the Reformation ; it is now 
called " College Street," and runs from M'Alpine Street to Brown 
Street, It further occurs to me that the University also acquired 
some old buildings among the wy